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Desantis Replacing Sheriff Scott Israel Over Parkland

12 January 2019

Earlier this week the Miami Times reported that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel had told his top commanders he expected to be suspended by incoming Governor Ron DeSantis.

DeSantis said Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel showed leadership failures in the shooting that left 14 students and three adults dead at the hands of a lone gunman on February 14, 2018.

Gov. Ron DeSantis announced Broward Sheriff Scott Israel has been replaced by former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, who has an extensive background in active shooter training.

Nikolas Cruz has confessed to being the gunman, and carrying out the shooting at his Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, his former school, according to court documents. "Some deputies said they couldn't remember when they'd last been trained to handle an active shooter, even though the agency had a confused, chaotic response to a mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport in 2017", the Sun-Sentinel said.

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DeSantis' predecessor, Rick Scott, famously sold two state planes when he came into office in 2011.

In a separate statement introducing Tony, DeSantis added, "The people of Broward County deserve accountable, competent leaders who can safeguard our communities". "Suffice it to say, the massacre might never have happened had Broward had better leadership in the sheriff's department".

Israel said DeSantis vowed to remove him as sheriff when he was campaigning for governor.

But Israel has consistently defended his deputies and his own role in the tragic events, resisting repeated calls for his resignation.

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Reacting to Israel's dismissal, Loesch said on Fox News the decision was widely bipartisan. His office also appears not to have followed up on tips that Cruz was risky prior to the shooting.

In a report released last week, a state-appointed commission identified multiple failings in Israel's agency's response to the shooting. Law enforcement members of the state commission investigating the shooting have agreed with that conclusion.

"The response from those that had a responsibility to make sure our kids and our teachers were safe have still not recognized the mistakes that were made that day and tried to change them", he said. "These incidents demonstrate Sheriff Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty".

"The facts do not warrant that Sheriff Israel in any way was incompetent in connection with this horrendous shooting", he said.

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"He has been one of the very few sheriffs whose had a strong presence in the black community", said Kelly Davis, a radio DJ known as Big Man Kelly. When asked about removing Runcie, DeSantis explained that he wasn't sure if he had the authority to suspend a superintendent hired by a county school board, rather than one who was directly elected.

Desantis Replacing Sheriff Scott Israel Over Parkland