Andrew Pollack, father of 18-year-old Meadow Pollack, who was killed in the mass shooting at Marjorie Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, last year, condemned a state official’s recommendation Wednesday that suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel be reinstated.
“If failed policies and leadership leading to the murder of schoolchildren and trying to become famous off of a tragedy you enabled and then lying about it again and again aren’t enough to get a guy in government fired these days, then America is basically doomed,” Pollack told Breitbart News.
Sheriff Israel was widely criticized for his department’s poor response to the shooting, after a deputy failed to enter the school during the shooting, and after it was discovered the department had failed to arrest the shooter despite dozens of visits to his foster home and school disciplinary problems.
The sheriff praised his own job performance, telling CNN’s Jake Tapper that he had shown “amazing leadership.” He also participated in a highly politicized CNN town hall on gun control shortly after the shooting.
Newly-elected Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, a Republican, removed Israel from his post in January and replaced him with Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, the first black sheriff in the county.
The South Florida Sun-Sentinel noted Wednesday that Israel’s reinstatement would still need to be approved by the state senate, and that the “special master” in charge of the case found that Gov. DeSantis had acted in good faith. Still, the investigation found that Sheriff Israel was not personally responsible for individual failures on his watch. The state senate, which is controlled by Republicans, will consider the issue in a special session the week of Oct. 21.
Pollack has written a new book, Why Meadow Died: The People and Policies That Created The Parkland Shooter and Endanger America’s Students, in which he criticizes the local police, the school district, and other authorities for their policies — and offers recommendations for parents who wish to take action to ensure their own children remain safe in school.
Joel B. Pollak is Senior Editor-at-Large at Breitbart News. He earned an A.B. in Social Studies and Environmental Science and Public Policy from Harvard College, and a J.D. from Harvard Law School. He is a winner of the 2018 Robert Novak Journalism Alumni Fellowship. He is also the co-author of How Trump Won: The Inside Story of a Revolution, which is available from Regnery. Follow him on Twitter at @joelpollak.