OPINION|Ken Pittman: Broward County Sheriff Needs To Go
Yes, even as a Massachusetts taxpayer some 1,400 miles from the voting district of Scott Israel, the Broward County Sheriff in Florida, I call for his political head.
I accuse him of being a great bearer of responsibility for failing to stop the Parkland Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School massacre. Seventeen teens and their teachers are dead because a chronically, well-documented psychopath predictably entered their school last week on Ash Wednesday with an AR-15 rifle.
If I was in charge, Sheriff Israel would have had his rights read to him by now.
Nikolas Cruz, an expelled former student, shot at anything that moved inside the Parkland High School. His warped mind raged at the world and he did what many specifically feared he would do. The FBI was warned about a post Cruz made on a YouTube video comment when he stated, "I'm going to be a professional school shooter." The investigation never took place and the threat was largely ignored. Once again, "See Something, Say Something" fell on deaf ears at the FBI.
Florida Governor Rick Scott has called for the resignation of the FBI Director. That is somewhat disingenuous, as the director could not possibly be held accountable. This falls on the regional FBI's SAC (Special Agent in Charge) in Miami and whatever agents might have been assigned to that tip.
That was one reported incident. One.
Let's though put the finger where it belongs: Scott Israel. Most media is reporting that they were able to locate between 30 and 39 times Sheriff Scott's police went to the home of Nikolas Cruz. Threats to kill his mother, threats to kill himself, animal torture, fights with his brothers—and here is one the Wall Street Journal brought to my attention:
WSJ - FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.—A former neighbor of Nikolas Cruz said she called 911 two years ago (2016) because the teen said, in a social-media post, that he looked forward to buying a gun when he turned 18 so he could shoot up his school.
“I was pleading with the police [officer]. I said, ‘Please, is there anything you can do?’” Joelle Guarino said Saturday. “He said basically no when you’re 18 you have a right to bear arms, and there was pretty much nothing he could do.”
Sheriff Israel allowed this maniac to own and possess an arsenal that many, including Cruz, promised would result in this exact massacre
Now this incredulous law enforcement official had the audacity to lunge to safe waters with this statement:
"If you're an elected official, and you want to keep things the way they are, and not do things differently, if you want to keep the gun laws as they are now, you will not get re-elected in Broward County,” — Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Thursday. Feb. 15.
He offered up this sentiment to the thunderous applause of the grieving locals, who probably had no clue that this guy was to blame and was simply enacting a cowardly self-preservation mode.
The laws allowing, in fact, compelling Broward County law enforcement to seize this young man's firearms many times over and suspend his Second Amendment rights were in place. Once again, as is the question in so many aspects of this tragedy, I ask "WHY"?
There are several disturbing character issue stories about this man's personal life that would creep out almost anyone, but that is not my concern from 1,400 miles away. He is your problem, Broward County, on those issues. On the Second Amendment issue, he is America's problem.
Editor's Note: Ken Pittman is a talk show host on 1420 WBSM in New
Bedford. He can be heard Saturdays from 9 a.m. - noon. The opinion
expressed in this commentary are solely those of the author.