The sheriff of Broward County is facing mounting calls for his resignation following a series of failures before and during the Parkland school shooting, with the governor of Florida announcing on Sunday he was launching an inquiry. Rick Scott, the Republican governor of the state, said serious questions had been raised about the sheriff’s office’s actions. “I have asked for the Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) to immediately investigate the law enforcement response and will continue to review this matter as more facts come out,” he said. “There must be an independent investigation and that is why I asked the FDLE Commissioner to immediately start this process.” Last week it emerged that an armed sheriff’s deputy, Scot Peterson, was on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas high school when Nikolas Cruz opened fire – but he did not enter the building. “He’s the only one with a gun, and a bulletproof vest, and he did nothing,” said Brandon Huff, a student at the school. Mr Peterson has resigned. Students evacuated from the school on Valentine’s Day Some reports suggested there were three other deputies outside the school when Coral Springs police arrived – but Scott Israel, sheriff of Broward County, denied that. “We will investigate every action of the deputies, and their superiors,” said Mr Israel. “It’s a voluminous investigation. We’re taking hundreds and hundreds of statements. “While the killer was on campus, there was one armed person within the proximity of that school -and that was Peterson.” Deputies received at least 18 calls regarding Cruz prior to the Valentine’s Day shooting, which killed 17 people. Mr Israel said 16 of those calls were handled “as they should have been”, but the remaining two are being investigated. “I can only take responsibility for what I knew of,” said Mr Israel. “I’ve shown amazing leadership. These deputies received the training they needed. “In the five years I’ve been sheriff we’ve taken the Broward sheriff’s office to a new level. At this point one person didn’t do as he should, and it makes me sick to my stomach.” Rick Scott, governor of Florida, with, on his right, Scott Israel, sheriff of Broward County Seventy four members of the Florida House have called on Mr Scott to suspend Mr Israel, including the speaker of the House, Richard Corcoran. Bill Hager, a Republican state politician for Boca Raton, went further, calling for Mr Israel to be fired. He wrote a letter to Mr Scott on Saturday, urging him to relieve Mr Israel from his duties for “neglect of duty and incompetence”. Mr Hager also cited reports that there were “23 calls to the Broward Sheriff’s Office relating to Nikolas Cruz and his home, as well as 39 visits by Broward Sheriff Deputies.” He continued: “The sheriff was fully aware of the threat this individual presented to his community and chose to ignore it.” But Mr Israel hit back, describing Mr Hager’s letter as riddled with false accusations. “It was a shameful, politically-motivated letter and I will not resign,” he said.
Source: Yahoo! News