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Scot Peterson of the Broward County Sheriff’s Department is the most infamous man in America after it was revealed he cowered in a defensive position outside as the Valentines Day Massacre unfolded in Stoneman-Douglas High School ultimately taking the lives of 17 people.
Destroyed as a coward by both his boss and Trump there’s some details starting to emerge.
Faced with a disciplinary investigation he opted to retire. I’m guessing he moves soon too.
What was he thinking? Was he an under the radar Disgruntled Employee who never cared?
The comments from Peterson’s on Monday February 27, lawyers he thought it was fireworks, is just beyond preposterous and I, for one, dismiss it as an outright, lie. Why would there be fireworks inside the building? And if it were fireworks, isn’t that the sort of thing the cop assigned to the school should investigate? And why did he shelter from fireworks? If this is true Sheriff Israel lied when he said Peterson relayed information. I’m not Israel’s biggest fan, but that would be a huge lie. For now the only person I’ll call a liar is Peterson.
He seemed to excel at his job but he did have an Achilles Heel at work. A not so well-regarded pet project he was willing to get in trouble for and would advocate for despite his admission he could not quantify it.
In 2015 an Internal Affairs review recommended counseling for Peterson over what amounts to an ill-considered and sort of insubordinate email to a superior about the merits of the ‘Resident on Campus Security Plan’ .
It sounds like he wants people to just take his word for it and continue something that couldn’t be justified in defending his beloved program. “An audit report will never show how much we prevent.” Yeah, how about that? He kept the kids from stealing Snickers and sodas out of the vending machines. It didn’t buy protection, it seems to only provide a deterrent through Presence of Law Enforcement in a given area.
Sounds like this could have been all about getting as much overtime as possible. They truly would have been better off using a fraction of Peterson’s 30k in overtime to buy some better security cameras (since we now know the ones they had were featuring a preposterous 20 minute delay in displaying the images.) Basically he saw his role as that of a Human ‘Ring Doorbell’.
Overtime was a substantial part of the now retired 33 year Broward Sheriff’s Department veteran’s pay. Is that’s where his pet project figures in?
Whatever else he was, it seems that Deputy Peterson was Broward’s version of the Lethal Weapon movies Sgt Murtagh, close to retirement and “too old for this shit”. Then again, Murtagh was brave. Peterson will forever be the Broward Coward.
I’m speculating about what will likely not get investigated now that he’s opted to retire – his self-justification in those moments might just have to do with an ongoing wage dispute in the form of the Resident on Campus Security Plan. It was a project close to his heart and it got him in trouble in 2015 when he sent what seems like an insubordinate email about it. It also put him in front of the school board in that same year trying to justify it. It would be interesting and probably enlightening to know just how much his pet project contributed to his total overtime.
Also; Did Peterson somehow influence the other Broward Deputies who then also failed to do their duty and cowered with him? His boss Sheriff Scott Israel seemed to think that way as he described Peterson’s actions on the February 25 broadcast of CNN’s State of the Union with Jake Tapper. Israel claimed Peterson was relaying information on the radio and wondered out loud if Peterson had something to do with the lack of action by the other Broward Deputies seen cowering outside the school. The acts of cowardice were witnessed and reported by officers from other departments that responded, notably the Coral Springs Police Department.
UPDATE- Police Radio transmissions CONFIRM that Peterson told other officers to simply cower in fear at least 500 feet away from the building. Peterson sounds fairly composed. I think he more didn’t care than he was afraid. this was not what he signed up for. And while the radio transmission mentions it might be fireworks itrs NOT convincing and comes after of cowardly stuff about “Locking Down the Building” and way too much panic to be believed. It sounds like just the excuse of an uncaring cop who simply wanted to get paid and be called a hero. You can hear the radio transmissions here.
It’s hard to know how to assess anything Israel says right now. He’s something of a Man on Fire and it’s hard to know yet if he’s shifting blame or honestly telling it how
it is. At this point they may be the same thing in Israel’s mind. The interview on CNN was after every Republican member of the Florida State Legislature called on Israel to resign. For reasons beyond the political Israel moving on is probably the way it has to be. I can’t imagine anyone could win back trust after the kind of complete failure we’ve just seen from the Broward Sheriff and his people.
In Israel’s favor? I for one didn’t find his juvenile program as offensive as Jake Tapper did. It needed to be carefully applied, for sure. In the end though it’s never the best outcome to overly criminalize anyone, especially kids.
That said the Broward Sheriff’s Department looks just terrible right now.
A Justice Department Investigation would be inevitable under any other administration, with Sessions as Attorney General though we just can’t be sure of anything.
It’s eerily reminiscent of the questions raised after the Pulse Massacre in Orlando when many felt the police response lacked urgency and aggression in face of the ongoing massacre in Orlando.
So here we are, the second time a Florida Police Department is facing severe criticism over how their officers responded to a massacre. Lets just say the NYPD’s Bravery on 9-11 was nowhere to be found in the Broward Sheriff’s Department. Not just Israel, but most of their hierarchy should probably be fired.
The people of Parkland will need plenty of time to regain their respect for their very reluctant guardians.
As far as Peterson? Everyone’s right. No amount of wall mounted plaques congratulating him for having his collar brass right every day was ever going to make him anything but a self-important bag of wind who never cared about the kids he was supposed to protect. He’s a coward and a disgrace to the badge he wore. He also has cast that badge into shame and splashed it with much more blood than there may need to have been. Something tells me he’s gonna find a way to be okay with all that though.
Here’s some quick facts about Peterson and his situation –
- As of Friday his whereabouts are unknown
- originally from Illinois.
- 54 years old.
- Had spoken of himself in the past as an intrepid self-sacrificing peace officer.
- He’s been on the job with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office since 1985
- Has a Criminal Justice degree from Florida International University, the second largest college in Florida.
- had at least two encounters with the Killer
- Ultimately was one of at least three (and counting) Broward police first responder’s under scrutiny for what amounts to freezing.
- Aced his last two performance reviews.
- Two years ago his salary was 77 thousand but with overtime its 101 thousand. This is also about the time where he’s getting in trouble and fighting to keep the Resident On campus Security Program.
- It appears he was nominated for some awards at the same time he’s being told to get counseling. More details need to emerge but sire seems weird. Not sure what it says about the Department as a whole.
- In 2015 Internal Affairs recommended Counseling for an ill considered email regarding his pet project, the ‘Resident on Campus Security Plan’ Peterson sent a superior. It seems the email may have been considered insubordinate.
- He was nominated for Deputy of the Year and was School Resource Officer of the Year four years back. This is pretty chilling and really destroys the idea you can count on Good Guys With Gun.
- Had spoken often in defense of his pet project; The Resident on Campus Security Program (which was what he sent that Insubordinate email over)
- When speaking of the The Resident on Campus Security Program he put it like this- “An audit report will never show how much we prevent.” It looks like this may have been all about getting as much Overtime as possible and maybe people figured that out.
- Has the same name as evil Wife Killing Christmas Fisherman Scot Peterson, currently on California’s Death Row.