EXCLUSIVE — Michelle Malkin: Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Should ‘Absolutely’ Resign

PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Scott Israel, Sheriff of Broward County, (L) and Florida Governor Rick Scott speak to the media as they visit Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School after a shooting at the school killed 17 people on February 14, 2018 in Parkland, Florida. Numerous law enforcement officials continue …
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Broward Sheriff Scott Israel should “absolutely” resign, said Conservative Review’s Michelle Malkin on Friday’s edition of SiriusXM’s Breitbart News Tonight in an interview with Breitbart News Senior Editor-at-Large Rebecca Mansour.

Last week’s mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, FL, was a function of failures among local authorities, including law enforcement, school administrators, and a psychiatric health facility, said Malkin.

Israel is a “feckless sheriff,” said Malkin, noting that he took no responsibility for failures during last week’s CNN town hall forum to discuss gun policy. 

Malkin listed several incidents and calls since 2016 in which the conduct of Nikolas Cruz was brought to the attention of the Broward Sheriff’s Office:

It’s disgusting. The CYA campaign that [Scott Israel] has been waging all day long. First, by releasing the log of all the phone calls, and the details, it’s astonishing how specific and credible each and every one of these phone calls was, and you see the very specific threats that Nikolas Cruz had leveled — not only repeatedly against his classmates and the school — but also details about how he had held a gun up to his mom’s head. When you combine that with the transcripts that the fishwrap of record — from when they did something useful — the transcript of the FBI tipster from January that Nikolas Cruz had been imbibing gasoline, that he had cut himself numerous times, that he was rubbing his hands in glee thinking of the inheritance that he was going to get as a result of his adopted father dying. Honestly, it makes me really question the circumstances of his mother’s death and given how incompetent the local law enforcement was, I wouldn’t be surprised if they open a new investigation into the pile of  other open investigations they have now.

An incident report dated November 30, 2017 reads: “Caller advised subject Nikolas Cruz is collecting guns and knives. Cruz wants to join the army. Concerned he will kill himself one day and believes he could be a school shooter in the making. Caller advised Cruz was no longer living at the listed Parkland address and is now living [sic] Lake Worth, Fl. Believes the weapons are kept at a friends [sic] house at an unknown location.”

Police officers on the scene during the mass shooting — including Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school to provide security — refused to engage Cruz, said Malkin:

Just tonight, the Broward County sheriff’s Twitter account was doing more CYA, covering themselves, by retweeting a statement from the Coral Springs Police Department from which we got all of the information about the other sheriff’s deputies besides Scott Peterson who had just stood there doing nothing.

“The people that are trying to take away our Second Amendment rights, they want to tell us to rely on the security and the police force, [that] they’ll take care of it,” said Mansour. “I’d rather have some armed teachers as the final line of defense.”

“It is astonishing, the level of incompetence [at the FBI],” said Mansour, pointing to FBI’s reception of a tip on January 5 warning that Cruz is “ready to explode” and plans to “get into a school and just shoot the place up.”

“The FBI completely dropped the ball,” said Mansour. “It didn’t do anything about [the warning it received about Cruz].”

On Friday, the Coral Springs Police Department claimed “any actions or inactions [by local law enforcement] that negatively affected the response will be investigated thoroughly.”

On Thursday, Broward Sheriff claimed to have received 23 calls for service at Cruz’s family’s home, disputing the claim of 39 incidents originally reported by CNN.

Malkin speculated that the Baker Act — a Florida state law allowing for involuntary institutionalization and medical examination of a person — could have been used to institutionalize and examine Cruz prior to his commission of mass murder. Such an institutionalized would have been on a firearm purchase background check, preventing Cruz for legally purchasing firearms.

“Clearly there were all these red flags,” said Malkin. “I don’t understand why the Baker Act was not triggered. You  look at the actual criteria: a clear and present danger and imminent threat to oneself or others; and you look at the reams of laws at the local, state, and federal level.”

Henderson Behavioral Health, a mental health facility in Florida, examined Cruz in 2016and opted against hospitalizing him. “I believe that would have counted as the kind of adjudication… that Nikolas Cruz would’ve had to report on his background check,” said Malkin.

Cruz’s 17-year-old brother Zachary was involuntarily committed to a psychiatric facility — via the Baker Act — two days after the mass shooting last week, noted Mansour.

Malkin predicted that victims’ families would file lawsuits related to failures of local officials:

Now I have a prediction. I believe that once these parents fully appreciate how it was all of their local failings of the school administrators, the Broward County sheriff, this feckless sheriff, where the fish apparently rotted from the head down at the sheriff’s  office. After the afterglow of CNN dies down, these parents are going to be filing multimillion dollar lawsuits for the people that are truly responsible for the massacre there.

“Left-wing students” should direct their ire towards local authorities, said Malkin. “[They] were screaming at the likes of Donald Trump when they should be screaming at their school administrators, the Broward County sheriff, and these school resource officers who treated their job like they were Mayberry police.”

Breitbart News Tonight airs Monday through Friday on SiriusXM’s Patriot channel 125 from 9:00 p.m. to midnight Eastern (6:00 p.m. to 9:00 p.m. Pacific).

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Follow Robert Kraychik on Twitter @rkraychik.

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