Florida House Republicans demand Sheriff’s ouster over Parkland shooting response
Nearly every Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives is calling on Gov. Rick Scott (R) to suspend a county sheriff over his office’s response to a deadly mass shooting at a local high school earlier this month.
Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran (R) tweeted a letter he sent to Scott on Sunday, urging him to suspend Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for “incompetence and dereliction of duty.” [restrict]
In the four-page letter, 74 out of Florida’s 76 state House representatives accused Israel of failing to take significant action to prevent the Feb. 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, in which a 19-year-old suspected gunman confessed to killing 17 people using an assault-style rifle.
“In the years leading up to this unspeakable tragedy, Sheriff Israel, his deputies, and staff ignored repeated warning signs about the violent, erratic, threatening and antisocial behavior of Nikolas Jacob Cruz,” the legislators wrote, referencing the suspected gunman.
lorida House Rep. Bill Hager (R), who signed the lawmakers’ shared plea, also sent his own letter to Scott on Saturday to demand Israel’s ouster. Hager pointed to reports that Israel’s office received at least 18 phone calls between 2008 and 2017 from community members concerned about Cruz’s behavior.
In 2016, multiple people told the sheriff’s office they worried about Cruz’s cache of weapons, according to The Naples Daily News. One caller told a deputy he believed Cruz “could be a school shooter in the making,” the news outlets reported. [/restrict]