FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Former BSO Deputy Scot Peterson was the school resource officer on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School the day confessed killer Nikolas Cruz went on a deadly massacre.
Wednesday in court, Peterson was a no show.
His attorney, Michael Piper, said Deputy Peterson had no legal duty to protect the people on campus.
“There isn’t a common law duty and never had been for a private person to protect others from the violence of 3rd parties,” said Piper.
He made the argument as he tried to get a judge to dismiss a civil lawsuit filed by Andrew Pollack.
Pollack’s daughter Meadow was murdered in the February shooting.
“These guys swear an oath to protect your children at school,” said Pollack. “I don’t want to here. [If] he didn’t have a duty to go in there, then what is he doing there?”
Peterson’s attorney said it’s a tough position, but it’s the legal one.
“What we really know is that what they’re alleging in the compliant is he had a gun, he’s the only person on campus who had a gun and he didn’t do anything,” said Piper. “That’s what it’s about and we understand that, but it doesn’t create a cause of action, there’s still no duty, from a legal standpoint there’s no duty.”
Pollock’s attorney argued as a law officer, Peterson had an obligation to protect people on campus.
“It is inconceivable that anyone could advance proposition that Peterson has no duty to these people,” said attorney Joel Perwin. “This is precisely the abdication of duty.”
The judge is allowing the suit to go forward.
Peterson was also trying to get a protective order against Pollock to keep him out of depositions.
He said he was concerned for his safety after Pollock made comments when a go-fund-me page was set up for Peterson’s defense.
“Pollack put on that blog was there’s nothing we should help this guy with other than trying to find a tree strong enough to hang a noose from. Something along those lines,” said Piper. “Now those are vague statements, but certainly not a friendly statement.”
Pollack responded to the concerns outside of the courtroom.
“I just want to look that guy in the eye,” Pollack said. “He let all those students and teachers down that day and now it’s time for accountability.”
The judge said any depositions involving Peterson must be taken at the courthouse, allowing Pollack to attend.
The judge also put a hold on depositions for at least the next 30 days.