GOP Senator Waffles on Removing ‘Coward of Broward’ from Office

PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 14: Scott Israel, Sheriff of Broward County, (L) and Florida Gover
Joe Raedle/Getty Images

Florida State Sen. Tom Lee (R-Hillsborough) is unsure as to whether Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel ought to be completely removed from office.

Israel was suspended from office in January by Gov. Ron DeSantis (R), due to the sheriff office’s botched response to the February 14, 2018, Parkland high school shooting.

On September 26, 2019, the Orlando Weekly reported that the Florida Senate would consider whether to uphold the suspension of “Coward of Broward” Sheriff Israel, effectively removing him from office, or to overturn it. Breitbart News reported that Florida’s Senate Rules Committee voted Monday to uphold Israel’s suspension, with Lee abstaining from participating in the vote. And even now, as the vote moves to the Senate floor, CBS Miami reports that Lee is still unsure which way he will go.

Thus far, Lee contends that removing Israel from office is setting a dangerous “precedent that would allow a Governor to suspend any Sheriff for the single act of a single deputy on one given day and that just defies common sense,”  (When Lee references a deputy he is talking about Scot Peterson, the deputy who stood outside Building 12 rather than confront the gunman while the attack was under way.)

Seventeen people were killed in the attack, 14 of whom were students.

Lee suggested the way he votes does not matter, as he believes the vote to uphold the suspension is a foregone conclusion.

Still, the vote may matter to the parents of Parkland shooting victims, who rallied last week to show their disdain for the former law enforcement official.

AWR Hawkins is an award-winning Second Amendment columnist for Breitbart News and the writer/curator of Down Range with AWR Hawkins, a weekly newsletter focused on all things Second Amendment, also for Breitbart News. He is the political analyst for Armed American Radio. Follow him on Twitter: @AWRHawkins. Reach him directly at Sign up to get Down Range at


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