While the only person responsible for the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last week was the shooter, the Broward County Sheriff's office clearly is to blame for a failure to act to deal with dozens of reports on Nikolas Cruz, but Sheriff Scott Israel wants to paint himself as an "amazing leader" when in reality he is deceiving the people concerning the truth of how many times his department was contacted regarding Cruz.
First, be careful when a Democrat says they are being transparent, such as the Broward County sheriff.
"In the interest of full transparency, we are making available the list of all 23 calls for service at the Cruz home. 18 involved Nikolas Cruz. None appeared arrestable under Florida law. However, two of the calls remain under internal investigation. http://bit.ly/2HI4Hti " Sheriff Israel tweeted out on February 23.
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) February 23, 2018
However, records that were obtained by CNN revealed that there were 39 calls made dealing with either Cruz or his brother between 2008 to 2017, not 23. Additionally, there were two others, one that occurred on the day of the shooting and one that occurred the day after.
From the CNN report:
On Feb. 15, CNN received a Broward County Sheriff’s Office log based on a public records request showing 39 calls from Cruz’s house over a six-year period. During CNN’s town hall on the Parkland school shooting last Wednesday, NRA representative Dana Loesch confronted Sheriff Israel about those 39 calls, though she inaccurately described them as being 39 visits from police in one year.
The next day, at a press conference in the wake of growing public criticism, Israel said his agency “has been involved in 23 type calls involving the killer in some way, shape or form — or his brother.”
Of course, Israel attempted to deflect any failure from himself or his department on the matter and has not given any reason for the obvious discrepancy in the numbers of calls.
Instead of correcting their obvious falsified numbers, the Broward County Sheriff's Office continued to push their number of 23.
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) February 25, 2018
Apparently, calls were being made about Nikolas Cruz beginning when he was just 9 years old! Why didn't the parents deal with the issue in the first place?
Second, it wasn't just Nikolas. His younger brother Zachary was also mentally unstable.
In fact, we reported that the woman that had previously cared for the boys had not only filed to control what is roughly an $800,000 estate on their behalf the day after the shooting but had also forcibly committed Zachary to a mental hospital just two days after the shooting.
CNN elaborates on what some of the calls involved.
Calls relating to Nikolas Cruz include descriptions of fights with his brother, cursing at his mother, and throwing her against the wall for taking away his Xbox. The issues brought to the sheriff's attention worsen over time. In 2014, someone accused him of shooting a chicken with a BB gun.Records show that in 2016, a neighbor warned the sheriff's office of an Instagram post in which Cruz said he "planned to shoot up the school." This week, Joelle Guarino told CNN she placed the 911 call and had begged the sheriff's office to intervene. She was told there was nothing deputies could do until Cruz actually did something, she said.Later that year, an unidentified peer counselor alerted the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School's school resource deputy that Cruz "possibly" drank gasoline "in an attempt to commit suicide," was "cutting himself," and "wished to purchase a gun." An investigator with Florida's Department of Children and Families spoke to Cruz, but his therapist ultimately advised that he was "not currently a threat to himself or others" and did not need to be committed.On November 1, the day his mother died, Broward Sheriff's Office received a call from Lynda Cruz's cousin, who warned deputies that Cruz had rifles and pleaded for them to "recover these weapons." On November 30, the sheriff's office received a call from a tipster in Massachusetts who warned them Cruz was "collecting guns and knives," and "could be a school shooter in the making." Records show the deputy "referred caller to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office," which had jurisdiction over Cruz's temporary home with a family friend. Within days, Cruz was back south in Broward County staying with another friend's family.
Here's how that conversation went.
Jake Tapper: Are you really not taking any responsibility for the multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of the Broward sheriff’s office about this shooter before this incident, whether it was people near him, close to him calling the police–
Sheriff Israel: Jake, Jake — Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency–
Jake Tapper: ‘Amazing leadership?’
Sheriff Israel: Yes, Jake. There’s a lot of things we’ve done throughout this — this is — you don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going in to — these deputies received the training they needed.
Jake Tapper: Maybe you measure somebody’s leadership by whether or not they protect the community. You’ve listed 23 incidents before the shooting involving the shooter and still, nothing was done to keep guns out of his hands, to make sure that the school was protected, to make sure you were keeping an eye on him — I don’t understand how you can sit there and claim amazing leadership?
Perhaps Sheriff Israel is more concerned with things like a Lamborghini to promote the Broward County Sheriff's Office and “Toys in the Sun” event than the enforcement of the law in Broward County.
In either case, one thing we do know and that is that Sheriff Israel is talking about taking AR-15s "off the street" while arming all his deputies with them. Does that sound like he respects your rights, the Constitution or the Second Amendment or is he only pushing an agenda? I think the answer is clear, and if the people of Broward County had any sense about them, they wouldn't blame guns for this school shooting, they would deal justly with the shooter and the man they elected as sheriff who failed to do his job.
It looks like there are plenty already calling for his resignation as Florida Governor Rick Scott begins an investigation into Israel's office.
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