Florida governor suspends Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

House Speaker Jose Oliva

The sheriff whose deputies failed to confront the shooter at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, one year ago has been removed by Gov. Ron DeSantis.

"Gregory Tony will be a champion for Broward County who will work tirelessly to safeguard our schools and our streets while ensuring accountability within the Sheriff's office".

A retired Coral Springs police sergeant will take the helm of the Broward Sheriff's Office.

Following the Parkland shooting, which claimed 17 lives, then-candidate DeSantis told supporters he'd suspend Israel but retreated in later appearances. Rick Scott, refused to suspend Israel, saying he wanted to wait until investigations into the February 14 shooting that left 17 dead were complete before deciding.

"I intend to vigorously fight this unjustified suspension both in court and before the Florida Senate", Israel said, adding that no one was suspended after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that left 49 people dead in 2016.

Israel was singled out for a poorly timed change in policy allowing sheriffs to choose whether or not to enter a building where there an active shooter, where previously they were trained to enter.

"These incidents demonstrate Sheriff's Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty", DeSantis wrote in his executive order.

"The suspension caps a almost year-long series of revelations that exposed the failure of Broward sheriff's deputies to run in to save children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School".

A state airplane carrying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a mechanical problem and was forced to make an emergency landing in St. Petersburg this afternoon.

The heat increased after it was learned the sheriff's office received and disregarded a call in 2016 and another in 2017 warning that suspect Nikolas Cruz, now 20, was a potential school shooter.

"I've given unbelievable leadership to this agency", Israel said on CNN, weeks after the shooting.

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow died on the third floor trying to protect a younger student who also died, said "when eight BSO deputies listened to shots fired in a school and stayed outside they were following Sheriff Israel's policies".

Reacting to Israel's dismissal, Loesch said on Fox News the decision was widely bipartisan.

According to the Miami New Times, Tony has extensive training in active shooter response.

"I have served with many of these men and women through my law enforcement career, and they're not self-serving", he said. He criticized the draft, and the final version was less harsh - but numerous same communications problems that plagued the airport response repeated at Stoneman Douglas.

The Broward County Sheriff's Office would not comment on the report. DeSantis was elected, in part, to do what he just did.

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