TALLAHASSEE (CBSMiami/NSF) – Florida Attorney General Ashley Moody called Monday for senators to reject reinstating suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, sending each senator a letter as a special session started.
Saying the “Parkland families deserve accountability,” Moody wrote that Israel needs to accept responsibility for the February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and for a mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in January 2017.
“Parkland was the second active shooter incident in two years. And, while any incident like this is naturally confusing and chaotic, law enforcement is expected to have policies and training in place that eliminate or minimize that confusion and chaos and to learn from past incidents,” Moody wrote.
“That did not happen under Sheriff Israel’s leadership.” DeSantis in January issued an executive order suspending Israel, who appealed to the Senate, which has the authority to remove or reinstate elected officials.
In September, Senate Special Master Dudley Goodlette recommended the Senate reinstate Israel, finding the governor failed to prove allegations of neglect of duty and incompetence.
The Senate started a special session Monday morning to consider the issue and is expected to vote Wednesday on Israel’s fate.
In supporting DeSantis’ decision, Moody pointed to a report by the state-created Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission, which found a lack of active-shooter situational training and a failure by the sheriff’s office to take control of coordinating the tactical response.
“This was not just one deputy, or a handful of deputies, failing to respond appropriately, follow procedures or file reports,” Moody wrote.
“This was the failure of an organization led by Sheriff Israel that failed to protect Parkland families.” Moody also made the letter personal.
“My niece was outside playing and heard the first shots ring out at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018,” Moody wrote.
“She lost a dear friend due to the acts of an evil person and the cumulative failure of the criminal justice system.”
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