By Asish Samson
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has been in the national limelight ever since Parkland School Shooting occurred. His departm1ent and himself have come under immense scrutiny by both the public and politicians after their debacle in dealing with the Shooter Nikolas Cruz. Sheriff Israel has been mired in controversy throughout his career over several issues. His arrogance and apparent apathy on the issue have been severely criticised by one and all on social media. Here are the seven of his sins he committed.
1.Ignoring Nikolas Cruz: It is a well established fact that Nikolas Cruz’s erratic behaviour, weapons stock, potential danger were well reported to the authorities well beforehand. Sheriff Israel’s office received 23 calls about Nikolas Cruz over the course of the decade according to Sheriff Israel himself. But further records obtained by the media revealed that at least 45 calls were made to the office about Cruz. On February 5th 2016 and November 30th 2017 the tips the office received explicitly stated his threats to conduct a school shooting and his potential for doing so. But the Sheriff’s office and the Sheriff himself have ignored this information repeatedly. This proved to be deadly to 17 innocent lives.
2. His Department’s inaction during the shooting: While the assigned officer to the school resigned due to his lack of action during the shooting, the Coral Springs officers who arrived on the scene were surprised to find at least 3 other deputies waiting outside the building while the shooting was going on. There is no doubt that these 3 officers along with the assigned officer contacted or were in contact with Sheriff Israel at this juncture. But, they didn’t even make an attempt to enter the building. Either Sheriff Israel ordered them to stand down or he couldn’t get them to obey his order. Seen any way this will always be a failure under Sheriff Israel.
3. His reaction after the shooting: As the spotlight turned to him immediately after the shooting, Sheriff Israel displayed extraordinary arrogance and apparent ignorance of his own shortcomings. In a televised town hall meeting conducted by the CNN(he was on CNN even before any investigation had begun or a preliminary facts were verified), he claimed that he had “no responsibility” over the shooting and that it was out of his control and nothing could be done about it. He even made a strange reference to the O.J Simpson case.
4.Blaming the NRA for his failure: In the above mentioned town hall meeting Sheriff Israel, a full blown democrat and Clinton supporter, took full advantage of this spotlight and began to propagate his politics. He actually blamed the NRA for the shooting implying that they were directly responsible for it. This is a shocking act of arrogance and finger pointing for a Sheriff whose own blunders caused the death of 17 innocent Americans. Either he was deliberately trying to defame the NRA for political purposes or he is too stupid not realise his own inaction caused the tragedy.
5. Praising Himself for his work: When your own ineptness and stupidity caused the death of 17 school children, you don’t tend to feel good about yourselves. But, when Sheriff Israel was confronted over this he had high praise for himself. He even outlined his “amazing leadership” and his apparent pride in leading the county. When social media erupted with calls for him resign and the tag #resignSheriffIsrael was trending along with immense public and political criticism he staunchly refused to resign claiming no responsibility.
6. Misuse of his power and position: He and his office have been repeatedly been accused of corruption and abuse of power. In 2016, a local newspaper exposed that he abused and misused his office for taxpayer funded jobs to his political supporters and their family members. When confronted about this, he compared himself to Abraham Lincoln, Martin Luther King and Gandhi himself and saying he acted no differently. His department employees have also been accused of attending campaign events while on duty.
7.Accepting donations for his PAC from the Mafia: In 2014 Sheriff Israel’s Political action committee accepted thousands of dollars of donations from a convicted felon under the name Yomar Izhak. Izhak is a member of the “Cuban Mafia” an organised crime ring. It deals in cocaine trafficking, arson, gambling and murder among others. And Sheriff Israel was happy to accept money from them and made no attempt to return them when it was exposed to the public.
All in all, Sheriff Scott Israel who was more interested to appear on CNN and politicise the shooting while defaming the NRA than to take part in the investigation is now under immense pressure to resign from his post after the multitude of his sins.