During an interview with CNN host Jake Tapper, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel said he has given his agency “amazing leadership,” which caused the host to gawk.
After hearing the sheriff’s words Tapper pressed into Israel, placing him in the hot seat for about 30 minutes.
The whole segment was focused on the response of Israel’s department before the attack occurred and during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting.
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A deputy from this department, Officer Scot Peterson, was serving as a school resource officer on the campus and failed to enter the school in the midst of Nikolas Cruz’s attack.
Peterson has since been suspended and has now retired before risking being fired.
Furthermore, Israel defended how his department failed to respond and report to 18 calls his deputies received about Cruz, tipping off that he could potentially be a “school shooter in the making.”
This isn’t the first run in Tapper and Israel have had though. Israel attended the CNN town hall, on Wednesday, which pushed hard for stronger gun control laws and he SUPPORTED this idea.
During the interview on Thursday Tapper asked if Israel could understand why the public would critique him and his department for ignoring all the red flags waved on Cruz.
“How could there not even be a report on this one?” Tapper asked.
“If that’s accurate, Jake, there needed to be a report and that’s what we’re looking in to, that a report needed to be completed, it needed to be forwarded to our homeland security or violent crimes unit and they would’ve followed up on it,” Israel said.
Via the Free Beacon: Tapper noted Israel’s conditional remarks, pointing out it was notes from Israel’s own department. Israel responded the officer who handled that situation was on restrictive duty.
“I’ve exercised my due diligence, I’ve led this county proudly as I always have,” he said. “We have restricted that deputy as we look in to it. You know, deputies make mistakes, police officers make mistakes, we all make mistakes, but it’s not the responsibility of the general or the president, if you have a deserter. You look into this. We’re looking into this aggressively, and we’ll take care of it and justice will be served.”
“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 the incident?” Tapper asked.
“Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about. I exercised my due diligence. I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency—” Israel started.
“Amazing leadership? Tapper asked shocked.
“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 into these deputies received the training they needed—” Israel said.
“Maybe you measure somebody’s leadership by whether or not they protect the community,” Tapper said. “In this case, 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.”
Israel said on “16 of those cases,” his deputies did everything right and in the five years he had been sheriff, he’d taken the department to a “new level.”
“One person didn’t do what he should have done,” Israel said. “It’s horrific. The victims here, the families, I pray for them every night. It makes me sick to my stomach that we had a deputy that didn’t go in because I know if I was there, if I was on the wall, I would have been the first in along with so many other people.”