Florida Survivors Defend Sheriff Against Republican Calls To Oust Him
Students who survived the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, earlier this month don’t blame Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel for missing various red flags in the shooter’s behavior.
Even though almost every Republican member of the Florida House of Representatives has asked Gov. Rick Scott (R) to suspend Israel, high school student Brandon Abzug thinks Israel should absolutely keep his job, he told CNN’s “New Day” on Monday.
The sheriff’s office reportedly received almost 20 phone calls between 2008 and 2017 reporting concerns with shooter Nikolas Cruz, according to The Naples Daily News, including specific worries that he wished to carry out a school shooting.
“We know about this one time where they dropped the ball but we don’t know about the 999 other times where they did do things to save us,” Abzug said.
Israel isn’t the only one who should be held accountable, he continued. “It’s a whole bunch of people and we need to move forward and make sure that this doesn’t happen again,” he added.
Scott is the one who should bear the responsibility since he ultimately oversees Israel, argued another shooting survivor, David Hogg. The governor ordered an investigation into law enforcement’s response to the shooting on Sunday.
“Just like the president is the boss of the FBI, Gov. Rick Scott is essentially the boss of Scott Israel, the sheriff,” Hogg said Monday on MSNBC’s “Morning Joe.” And as such, he should be held accountable. He can’t just blame the bureaucracy and expect to get re-elected.”
He doesn’t blame law enforcement in general, he added, but laments the fact that a handful of individuals “did not conduct their job correctly.”
Israel attempted to defend himself on Sunday, fielding questions from angry news anchors.
“I exercised my due diligence,” he told CNN’s Jake Tapper. “I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency. ... There’s a lot of things we’ve done throughout.”
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This article originally appeared on HuffPost.