Scot Peterson Parkland broward coward
This Feb. 14, 2018 frame from security video provided by the Broward County Sheriff's Office shows deputy Scot Peterson, right, outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla. The video released Thursday, March 15, shows Peterson going toward the high school building while a gunman massacred 17 students and staff members, but stayed outside with his handgun drawn. (Courtesy of the Broward County Sheriff's Office via AP)
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From the Associated Press . . .

The former school resource officer accused of hiding during a South Florida school shooting that left 17 people dead said after a hearing Wednesday that he never would have sat idle if he had known people were being killed.

Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson, 58, appeared in court, where his attorney argued to dismiss child negligence charges against him, the Sun Sentinel reported. After the hearing, Peterson lost his composure and fought back tears as he described how his life has changed after the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

“I didn’t do anything there to try to hurt any child there on the scene,” Peterson said. “I did the best that I could with the information. I did the best … I’ll never forget that day. You know, not only kids died, I have friends that died. And never for a second would I sit there and allow anyone to die, knowing that animal was in that building! Never!”

Nikolas Cruz, who was 19 at the time of the February 2018 shooting, has been charged with 17 counts of first-degree murder and faces a possible death sentence.

Prosecutors have said that Peterson failed to come to the rescue as Cruz was making his way through the school’s hallways. The law that he’s accused of breaking specifically applies to caregivers, but defense attorneys are arguing that a law enforcement officer doesn’t fit the legal definition of a caregiver.

Prosecutors are arguing that school resources officers are inherently different from other law enforcement officers and should be considered caregivers.

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64 COMMENTS

  1. Sadly immunity will cover this SOB. The police have no duty to protect you. This is already settled law, they serve one function only and that is to enforce the will of the state.

    • Your statement needs to be clarified. In most jurisdictions,municipal police are hired by, and report to, a Chief of Police, who in turn is appointed by and answers to a city’s Mayor. In that respect, the police are representatives of the City itself.

      A County or Township’s Sheriff is elected by the people of that community, and that department’s Deputies (as sworn agents of the Sheriff) are indeed duty-bound to protect the community’s people.

      In this case, as I understand Broward County’s structure while admittedly researching from the comfort of my keyboard far away, Deputy Scot Peterson had been assigned to Parkland’s Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School as a representative of the Broward County Sheriff, and therefore did have the duty to protect those within his charge while on duty.

      • I Haz a Question,

        While county deputies–all police for that matter–have a righteous duty to protect people in their midst, they do not have a LEGAL duty to protect people in their midst unless a special relationship exists as XERXES036 stated below.

        • Not so. An appointed official is beholden to the one who performed the appointment. But a personelected to office (e.g., a Sheriff) by a community is bound to that constituency.

      • The only law enforcement officer that has a constitutional duty to protect is an elected county sheriff. Constitutionally, the county sheriff has more power than the president in their county plus they also have a constitutional duty to protect the rights of the county residents. The county sheriff, within their county, even outranks state level and federal law enforcement and can throw them out of the county or nullify their law enforcement authority in the county if he/she so chooses.

        Make sure you choose the right person when county sheriff election comes up, choose the only that’s going to stand up for your rights especially for your 2A rights.

        • Please cite the Article, Section, and Clause of the US Constitution where state or local law enforcement, specifically the county sheriff, is mentioned in any way, shape, or form.

        • “Constitutionally, the county sheriff has more power than the president in their county plus they also have a constitutional duty to protect the rights of the county residents“

          Would you please direct me to which article in the constitution grants the sheriff more powers than the president?

          I can’t even find the word ‘sheriff’ in my copy of the United States Constitution…

        • For those asking… its not in the constitution directly, its in SCOTUS decision that still stands today:

          The “supremacy clause” is dealt with in Mack/Printz, in which the U.S. Supreme Court stated once and for all that the only thing “supreme” is the Constitution itself. Where by those powers, the Sheriff reigns supreme above the president.

          The SCOTUS was talking about a county sheriff. The county Sheriff position is the oldest office in the republic and existed before the Declaration of Independence and the Constitution was ratified.

          November 09, 2011 – a federal district court in the Wyoming case affirmed this again. The court ruled, “Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official. (“the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers EXCEEDING that of any other state OR federal official.” )

          Case No. 2:96-cv-099-J (2006) – Bighorn County Sheriff Dave Mattis had announced that all federal officials were forbidden to enter his county without his prior approval. Of course the ATF and IRS balked at that and thus it ends up in court. The short version of the outcome is that if a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds in his/her county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody.

        • Jack, thanks for your detailed reply, but it seems a little short on truthfulness.

          “The short version of the outcome is that if a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds in his/her county he has the constitutional right and power to keep them out, or ask them to leave, or retain them in custody.“

          That’s just so much bullshit…

          Here’s the report of an individual who actually spoke with the sheriff before he died.

          “Thanks to the prodding of an ICE subscriber, this afternoon I picked up
          the phone and had a conversation with Sheriff Dave Mattis of Bighorn
          County, Wyoming. He was quite accommodating and I very much appreciated
          his willingness to discuss his “Guidelines for Federal Officials” with
          me, as I am a couple of thousand miles removed from his “jurisdiction”.
          😉 At any rate, here is the update as related to me by Sheriff Mattis.

          When he became Bighorn County Sheriff, he inherited an ongoing case
          (Case: Castaneda v. USA, Filed: 10th May 1996, Closed: 29th April 1997,
          Case No: 2:1996cv00099 Wyoming District Court, Casper) in which he
          became named along with the United States and the INS. Pasted below are
          two articles that have made the rounds via the Internet and various
          email lists. This case was settled before it was actually tried. One
          of the outcomes of Sheriff Mattis’ experience with this case was his
          creating and implementing a set of “guidelines” for officials of federal
          agencies operating in Bighorn County.

          It is important to understand how language can distort or misrepresent
          reality. I asked Sheriff Mattis about a couple of the quotations
          attributed to him in the following articles. Keep in mind I was asking
          him to recall things he is alleged to have said some 3 years ago.
          First, he is alleged to have said, “If a sheriff doesn’t want the Feds
          in his county he has the constitutional power and right to keep them out
          or ask them to leave or retain them in custody.” He responded that he
          does not remember making that particular statement. Second, he was
          quoted as stating, ” “I am reacting to the actions of federal employees
          who have attempted to deprive citizens of my county of their privacy,
          their liberty, and their property without regard to constitutional
          safeguards.” To this Sheriff Mattis responded that it “depended on the
          setting.”

          I asked Sheriff Mattis if his “Guidelines for Federal Officials” was a
          matter of public record. He responded, “Well, yes and no,” and went on
          to explain that he had issued copies to all of the Federal Agencies and
          the U.S. Attorney operating in his county, as well as to numerous
          sheriffs both in Wyoming and other states who had expressed interest in
          what he was doing. According to Sheriff Mattis, the U.S. Attorney in
          his county “doesn’t have a problem with it” (paraphrasing), and to date
          there have been no problems as a result of federal agencies failing to
          cooperate with the guidelines.

          Sheriff Mattis seems to me to be a very thoughtful, responsible and
          careful public servant. My impression is that he is very aware of the
          sensitivity of certain issues surround the interaction of federal, state
          and county jurisdictions. Sheriff Mattis has issued his guidelines with
          the intent of ensuring that federal agencies will remain properly
          accountable to local law and local law enforcement when interacting with
          the people of Bighorn County.
          It appears that Sheriff Mattis has done a considerable service to all
          those concerned about an overreaching Federal gov’t in that he has both
          set an example and opened considerable dialogue over the last 3 years
          amongst quite a number of county sheriffs across the country.

          It would be counterproductive, in my opinion, to read too much into
          “guidelines” that Sheriff Mattis is as yet not comfortable making
          available to the general public. It seems clear to me that there is
          currently no wide consensus among any significant group of county
          sheriffs as to the kinds of strict prohibitions or limitations of
          certain activities that various patriot and tax movement groups would
          like and are eager to presume exist somewhere.

          Bottom line: something good is happening, but it is far too early to
          know HOW good or where it is headed. At this point, I’d say about the
          most productive thing people can do is to express concern to their own
          county sheriffs that federal agencies should both feel and, in fact, BE
          accountable to local law and local law enforcement in the conduct of
          their “business” within the county. Ask your Sheriff to contact Sheriff
          Dave Mattis in Bighorn County, Wyoming [(307) 568-2324], for a copy of
          the his “Guidelines for Federal Officials” that appear to be working
          well for him and “keeping the County Sheriff in the loop” so the rights
          of people in the county are protected locally. Sheriff Mattis appears
          to be quite willing to share his guidelines with other county sheriffs.“

          http://www.wagc.com/an-update-of-sorts-on-the-wyoming-sheriff/

        • Jack, apparently you don’t know jack shit……

          Or you think it is patriotic to lie about the actions of the judicial branch of the United States of America, either way you are spreading fake news.

          Scratch a conservative ‘patriot’, discover a lying traitor to America.

          “There is a meme running rampant on the internet and here citing a supposed decision in the U.S. District Court (never identifying which court) only citing the docket number [Case No. 2:96-cv-099-J (2006)] that in the – presumable ruling opinion – that the presiding judge stated/wrote;
          “Wyoming is a sovereign state and the duly elected sheriff of a county is the highest law enforcement official within a county and has law enforcement powers exceeding that of any other state or federal official.”
          But after an exhaustive search of the all the proceedings associated with the actual case that this meme sprang out I find that it has absolutely no basis in fact. The case involved was Castaneda v. United States, No. 96-CV-099. a civil suit filed in U.S. District Court of Wyoming. The case was settled out of court so of course there was no ruling, not ruling no opinion, no opinion, no quotation. In short the line is a full blown fabrication.

          In response to the meme, U.S. District Judge William F. Downes made the following statement:

          .
          This was a civil case arising out of an alleged entry into an apartment by law enforcement officials in June of 1993. The Plaintiffs, who were staying in the apartment, alleged that the officials violated their civil rights. They filed an action against the United States, unnamed INS agents, Big Horn County, the County Sheriff, and unnamed Sheriff’s deputies.

          The complaint was filed in the Federal District Court for the District of Wyoming in May, 1996. The federal defendants were primarily represented by attorneys with the Constitutional Torts Branch of the Civil Division of the Department of Justice.

          The County defendants were represented by non-federal attorneys. The case was settled following a settlement conference in 1997. The court did not rule on Plaintiffs’ claims or any other legal issues in the case. After the settlement conference, Big Horn County Sheriff, David M. Mattis, issued a “Policy.” In the “Policy,” the Sheriff purports to impose conditions upon federal law enforcement operations in the County.

          We have learned that it has been reported, erroneously, that the court made a legal ruling in the Castaneda case regarding the authority of federal law enforcement officials to conduct operations in the County. There was no such ruling or decision. Instead, the court simply granted a motion, submitted jointly by all the parties, to dismiss the case because the parties had settled.

          This Court has never issued an order which would serve to limit the lawful activities and duties of federal law enforcement officers and other federal employees in the District of Wyoming.

          Furthermore, this Court has never made the comments attributed to it which purports to advise state officers they can prohibit federal law enforcement officers or agents from entering a Wyoming County. Those alleged quotations are utterly false.

          Any person who interferes with federal officers in performance of their duties subjects themselves to the risk of criminal prosecution.

          William F. Downes
          Chief Judge, District of Wyoming
          http://www.wyd.uscourts.gov/pdfforms/96cv99.pdf

          Read more: https://www.city-data.com/forum/current-events/2122244-federal-judge-rules-sheriffs-can-overrule.html#ixzz746g8LPxV

    • True no duty to protect……Unless a special relationship exists. I see this going to the higher courts if a conviction somehow happened.

    • You need to qualify a little: the police have NO U.S. CONSTITUTIONAL duty to protect you except in certain circumstances). They do have a duty to protect those with whom they have a “special relationship” (e.g. such as a prisoner, those they themselves have put in danger, or pulling over a car in heavy traffic.)

    • “I didn’t do anything there ̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶t̶r̶y̶ ̶t̶o̶ ̶h̶u̶r̶t̶ ̶a̶n̶y̶ ̶c̶h̶i̶l̶d̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶r̶e̶ ̶o̶n̶ ̶t̶h̶e̶ ̶s̶c̶e̶n̶e̶,”

      I was just there for a cushy job, order some kids around, and collect a fat pension.

      FIFY

  2. The gun shots and screaming kids did not clue him in to people being killed? I’ve been shot at. It ain’t fun but you do your job. I’ve also been in a burning building. That was worse than being shot at.

  3. His “excuses” make zero sense. He was a law enforcement officer called to the scene of a shooting at the very school he was assigned to protect. He take cover outside as others ran past him toward the danger. What is it about shots being fired inside a school that doesn’t add to him knowing children are being murdered?

    There are only two possible explanations for his behavior. Either his brain is short a few million little grey cells where they are needed most, or he is an abject coward and liar.

    I’ll be surprised if he is punished properly by the law. But at least the effort is being made.

  4. Considered a caregiver? What was the Gun for? Suicide requests?

    The cure for fear is controlled anger. Hearing people who cannot shoot back getting shot would really piss me off.

    Despicable are the cockroaches who use such tragedies to advance their Gun Control filth. Frankly there’s little difference between them and the perp.

  5. “Scot Peterson: I Did the Best I Could”

    Analogies of roads paved with good intentions comes to mind… 🙁

  6. I actually believe that.
    It’s just that his best isn’t good enough. I wouldn’t even trust him with my hamster – and he’s dead since 20 years.

  7. Hey Scot. LOTS of lives were changed that day, many needlessly, because of your inaction. Enjoy your undeserved pension, followed by your slow rot in hell. May you be visited by ghosts for the rest of eternity .

    • Yes he absolutely did hear gunfire that is why he did not go in. He was close to retirement and was not about to get himself harmed in anyway. He is a low life piece of sht.

  8. Not taking up for the guy one bit, but did the lame brain sheriff or police chief ever see to it that Peterson or any of the others got training ?

  9. In a way he is telling the truth; he did to the best that he could do but he’s a pathetic wretch of a man that had no business wearing a badge or carrying a gun. There are worse things in life than being killed in the line of duty while trying to protect the innocent.

  10. “It wasn’t MERE CHILDREN that I let die, it was people that I liked too.”

    This asshole’s lawyer really needs to shut him up. I could have gone from the last time on without hearing from him.

    • I paused on that too. My only conclusion was he liked the children?
      Doesn’t really come off that way though, his lawyer is going to have work to do clarifying that statement . To me that’s quite incriminating.

  11. If you did your best then your a sorry excuse for a human. Your “best” was inadequate and killed children.

    Now be a man, take responsibility and the punishment and possibly earn a little respect.

  12. He’s right, and honest. He was capable of no better. A ditch digger who is incapable of holding a shovel: no big deal. A cop incapable of defending others: big deal.

    Sad for him that he’s going to have to live with his cowardice forever, but it is what it is.

  13. This is one of those “retiree” type jobs. Been around for a long time, getting near retirement but can’t really do the grunt street level work any more because you got old and fat and slow and your not going to be promoted again but kinda have to keep you around ’cause union or maybe some kind of age discrimination thing or you need a little more time to get full pension.

  14. Since this coward wore a uniform the justice system will do everything possible to try and get him of the hook. I learned decades ago that no matter how despicable a crime done when a person has a uniform on the State tries everything possible to protect “their own” and human decency and morality do not exist with the people in power.

    If he is acquitted (which I am sure he will be) if there is any possible way to sue and bankrupt the bastard in court with a civil lawsuit (even if the prosecutors know they are not going to win) would be well worth it.

  15. Peterson didn’t do his best. That would have been to run to the source of the trouble whatever it was. Of course, that’s dangerous but it’s the difference between a hero and a coward. He hid outdoors where it was safe.

  16. In a June 2018 interview with NBC’s “Today” Peterson said “Those are my kids in there, I never would have sat there and let my kids get slaughtered. Never.”

    That’s a care giver legal duty obligation in Florida, to keep those in your care from harm using the means you are capable of employing.

    I’ll bet his lawyer wishes he had never said that. His own words say he believed he had a duty obligation as a care giver. He had the training, knowledge, and capability yet did nothing.

  17. I do not normally leave comments but man up and admit you are a POS and accept the consequences. To fight it means you are okay for the deaths.

  18. what in the heck did he think was going on in the school it’s full of kids and shooting and screaming is going on he can not be that stupid he needs to be in jail

  19. In medieval France, they called it elan. A pride born of manly virtue, that disdains acts of the craven and cowardly as beneath him. The trait that set a knight apart from a levied militiaman or paid mercenary.

    Mr. Peterson, your distinct lack of elan is obvious to all.

  20. “And never for a second would I sit there and allow anyone to die, knowing that animal was in that building! Never!”
    He’s absolutely right. The video clearly shows him STANDING at the exterior door listening to the gunfire.

  21. I haz a question is blissfully ignorant of court decisions.

    His definition really is only valid with dereliction of duty, a different thing.

    That save knew many brave cops. Some were fearless I worked with the generation just before me that were Vietnam vets. Perhaps the coolest cops ever to serve.

    I also worked with cops that were scared to death but did the job. They were often red faced, had blood pressure and heart problems and were nervous wrecks when they retired but got the job done. To many it is simply a lazy mans job.
    The ten per cent that do the real work are men among men.

  22. I believe the reason he was a school resource officer was because of his age and lack of ability. Its where the old sheep go. Schools are safe, low probability of action places where old cops go. Will his performance and fitness reports be in evidence ?

    When I worked in Power Plants there was always the old mechanic who was never a hot shot, and now was 5 yrs from retirement. These guys turned in their toolbox and went to the tool room to shuffle around for 5 more years painting tools and stuff. School resource officers are the tool room guys.

  23. This is the time we should examine ourselves and commit mentally to be decent and brave men and women when the time comes and we are called. Protect yourself and your family first. Assess the situation to try and determine if it’s black and white. Act if you are called to do so.

    Every 9/11 I spend some time in reflection and recommit myself to ACTION no matter what the odds against me when lives are at risk including mine. I may find out some day I am a coward, but if I am the man I hope I am this forethought might save me a precious second of inaction.

    • The first time I had to do it, no other choice. That first time I had to do it I was not nervous, I was not afraid, I didn’t even think about it because the bad guy had already made the decision for me with his actions. I just reacted seeing the threat to my wife, drew, and fired. That moment in time, that less then an eye blink moment in time had arrived, that moment I had hoped would never arrive but it did. I was a wreck after, staring at the bad guy laying there flopping around and screaming for help less and less over what seemed like an eternity but was about 20 seconds as he died.

      My wife spoke loudly to me, calling my name, then I realized my wife was safe from the bad guy then I was OK again. Police pulled up about a minute later, took my gun and pulled the magazine out. The 15 round magazine had one round left. Police give me my gun back. Found out later that 13 of the 15 rounds had hit the bad guy at 20 feet, not exactly center mass but all 13 between neck and waist. There was one bullet hole in the window of the car that was behind the bad guy. Justifiable homicide said the prosecutors office, got a judge to sign off on it so I could not be sued by the family of the bad guy, said he hoped I was around if that ever happened to his wife.

  24. Few of us truly know how we would react if asked to rush toward a shooting. We all hope we never are asked to. Most law enforcement go their entire career without ever having their life threatened, much less run toward a life threatening situation. If he had said, after the event, that he apologizes for his inaction, and now realizes that law enforcement is obviously not for him, I’d have SOME level of respect for him, and maybe even feel sorry for his coming life of self-hatred, but he hasn’t. That is what makes him a living piece of human excrement.

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