Parkland Survivors Sue Broward Law Enforcement Officials; Allege Incompetence, Poor Training And Cowardice
A combination of incompetence, poor training and inaction led to the Valentine's Day massacre of 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida - claim 15 current or former students in a new federal lawsuit which points the finger directly at Broward County law enforcement.
"Law enforcement choked," said Detroit civil rights attorney Solomon Radner, who filed the lawsuit, adding "Cops are heroes, and they’re supposed to be heroes."
“This lawsuit should not be misconstrued in any way as a shot at law enforcement,” he said. “This is a shot at specific law-enforcement officers that failed those students.”
Recent graduate Audrey Diaz, one of the plaintiffs, said that on the day of the shooting, she was thinking about prom and graduating, but “some of my friends who were killed that day weren’t able to go to these events.”
Her voice breaking, she said, “We thought we were safe at school and we would always be protected,” adding, “We deserved more from our law enforcement.”
Calling it “a parent’s worst nightmare,“ Audrey’s mother, Iris, said, choking with emotion, “I am outraged at how the defendants in this lawsuit responded to this shooting.” -Palm Beach Post
The lawsuit was filed in federal court because it alleges constitutional rights were violated, and because Florida courts cap lawsuit awards against local governments at $300,000, reports the Palm Beach Post.
Defendants in the suit include Sheriff Scott Israel and disgraced former school resource officer Scot Peterson, who was seen on CCTV footage driving a golf cart up to the high school building during the shooting, only to hop off, unholster his gun, and run behind a concrete wall for cover.
BREAKING: Broward County Sheriff's Office releases security video showing Deputy Scot Peterson's actions (or inactions...) during the February 14 shooting. pic.twitter.com/QnILMn87Yp
— Wired Sources (@WiredSources) March 15, 2018
Peterson, 54, dubbed the "Broward coward," was blasted by Sheriff Israel a week after the shooting - who said Peterson should have "went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer," adding that the deputy's failure to act left him "devastated" and sick to his stomach.
The lawsuit claims that during “eight minutes of hell,” numerous “failures by numerous government actors, including law enforcement, strongly continued to Shooter’s ability to carry out this horrific attack without which this attack could not have happened.”