The union of deputies in Florida’s Broward County held a vote of “no confidence” in Sheriff Scott Israel Thursday, voting to officially rebuke the department head and asking Governor Rick Scott to remove him from his position.
The members of law enforcement voted 534 to 94 to remove Israel following his reaction and response to the deadly mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in February.
Union President Jeff Bell applauded the decision, saying “amazing leadership starts from the top, and there is no amazing leadership here,” adding that members of the union “have displayed great courage to come out and vote under threat of retaliation and reprisal from the sheriff.”
A recent report from a neighboring department -who also responded at the school shooting- publicly accused Broward County deputies “taking cover” behind trees and cars as the massacre unfolded inside the building.
The Sheriff also came under fire from missing repeated red flags surrounding 19-year old shooter Nikolas Cruz; with reports indicating his office received dozens of phone calls and tips of the impending attack that left 17 people dead.
BROWARD BACKLASH: Florida Sheriff Faces ‘NO CONFIDENCE’ Vote from His Own Deputies
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel found himself in hot-water Friday, facing a “no confidence” vote from his own department after multiple “failures” have “crushed moral” throughout the agency.
According to NBC Miami, Sheriff Scott Israel will face the up-or-down vote from his own deputies following his handling and response to the deadly shooting that stunned South Florida earlier this year.
“The move comes as Israel and his agency have been heavily criticized for their response during and after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in which 17 people, mostly teenage students, were shot dead,” writes NBC.
In a written statement, the official association of deputies said the vote was necessary following “many instances of suspected malfeasance, misfeasance, failure to maintain fiduciary responsibility by the Sheriff, failure to properly investigate possible criminal conduct by members of his senior command staff and the lack of leadership that has crushed morale through the agency.”
BROWARD BOMBSHELL: Deputy TOLD POLICE to 'STAY AWAY' from High School During Shooting
The disgraced Sheriff’s Deputy who maintained a “defensive position” and refused to enter the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during last month’s mass shooting reportedly told fellow officers to “stay away” from the building; instructing them to remain at least 500 feet back as people lay dying.
According to the Miami Herald, Deputy Scot Peterson told the Broward County Sheriff’s Department, “Do not approach the 12 or 1300 building, stay at least 500 feet away.” Newly released audiotape of police scanners confirm Peterson’s comments; with screams heard in the background as the shooting unfolded.
The records confirm Peterson was well aware that the incident was occurring inside the building; directly refuting his claims he believed the gunman was last seen near the football field.
“It certainly backs up that he never went into the school,” said the president of the Broward County Sheriff’s police union. “At one point he says to keep back 500 feet. Why would he say that?”
Peterson became the center of a media firestorm after reports emerged he refused to enter the building as the carnage unfolded; allowing 19-year old Nikolas Cruz to kill 17 people and injure dozens more without confrontation.