It’s been almost four months since the spree shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen people were murdered that day. In the aftermath, it was revealed that the shooter had been a problem for the school and local law enforcement (including two reports to the FBI) for years. He’d broken a number of laws on school property, but was given slaps on the wrist and shunted off to another school rather than being dealt with in the legal system so as not to affect the school’s disciplinary record.
In short, the shooter had thrown up more red flags that a Soviet Union May Day parade.
And then there were the disastrous decisions by law enforcement in responding — or not — to the shooting. School Resource officer Scot Peterson stayed outside the building, listening to the sounds of gunfire as students and teachers were being murdered inside. Peterson at least had the decency to “retire” when that was revealed.
And then there’s Captain Jan Jordan who was in charge of the response that day when law enforcement arrived on the scene. She was the one who ordered the officers to form a perimeter around the school, rather than going in to stop the shooting. That tactic contravenes all police training on how to minimize loss of life in an active shooter situation since Columbine.
Then it was revealed that, in addition to holding back the police officers, she refused to allow EMTs to enter the school building, even after the shooter had been arrested. That delay no doubt cost lives as victims bled out waiting for help.
Now, at long last, the accountability hammer is finally beginning to fall.
In a statement, Parkland City Manager Bob Payton said he has asked BSO to replace Capt. Jan Jordan with a commander who holds the rank of major as part of a series of changes to the way Parkland is policed.
Payton is staying very diplomatic when asked about the change.
“In coordination with this comprehensive public safety evaluation process, I have proactively requested that Sheriff Scott Israel provide three recommendations to fulfill the upgraded role of Major,” Payton said. “Capt. Jordan has provided great leadership to the City of Parkland and I am truly thankful for her service.” …
He declined to comment specifically on how Jordan handled the shooting and would not say whether the city’s decision was in part tied to her performance, pointing to the ongoing state investigations into law enforcement’s response.
“This wasn’t one person,” Payton said. “There were multiple failures.”
Hard to argue with that. Especially since Marjory Stoneman Douglas principal Ty Thompson still has his job. Broward Schools superintendent Robert Runcie still has his job. And somehow the clown-like, responsibility-dodging Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel, still has his job.
“I think that this is probably the first of many changes that we’re going to see as far as public safety in this area,” Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, who represents Parkland, said. “When you have what you had on Feb. 14, there’s got to be accountability.”
You’d think so. The only question is, what’s taking so long?