DeSantis suspends Broward Sheriff over Parkland school shooting response


Israel was criticized for his lackluster leadership in the aftermath of last February's shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead.

DeSantis was traveling for a scheduled 3 p.m. press conference where he is expected to announce the suspension of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, but the delay pushed the event to 4:30 p.m.

A state commission investigating the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School recently concluded Israel's changes to the department's active shooter policy may have contributed to some deputies' inaction during the shooting. Despite criticism of the shooting response, he has said he would continue to serve in his elected capacity, according to the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

Two days after the gubernatorial election, SFWMD appointees voted to extend a lease for sugar farmers - who discharge a hefty dose of their nutrient-laden water into Lake O - despite requests from DeSantis' environmental transition team member U.S. Rep Brian Mast to delay the vote until DeSantis could review it.

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Several responding Broward sheriff's deputies were either seen on camera or described as taking time to retrieve and put on ballistic vests as well as removing and replacing other equipment while shots were still being fired in the school, the report said.

A plane carrying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis was forced to make an emergency landing in St. Petersburg Friday afternoon, according to the governor's spokesman.

"Sadly, this is not about what occurred on February 14 [2018]", Israel said, reports the Miami Herald. The department also had 20 previous contacts with the shooter relating to arguments with his now-deceased mother. Israel has said none of those contacts warranted an arrest. The report also said former Deputy Scot Peterson, the school resource officer, was "derelict in his duty" and "failed to act consistent with his training and fled to a position of personal safety" during the mass shooting.

DeSantis called for the nine appointees on SFWMD to resign because he believes they "failed to understand the toll endured by communities by repeated algae blooms triggered by dirty lake water released into coastal rivers", the Miami Herald reported.

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"For these reasons, I am suspending Sheriff Israel from office effective immediately", he wrote.

Israel, 62, was elected sheriff in 2012 after a long career in law enforcement. Violent crime went down, and he easily won re-election in 2016 to oversee the county's 2,800 deputies.

Shortly after Israel's second term began, a man retrieved a handgun from his luggage at Fort Lauderdale's airport and opened fire, killing five. He criticized the draft, and the final version was less harsh - but numerous same communications problems that plagued the airport response were repeated at Stoneman Douglas.

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