The Florida sheriff whose office responded to the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland will be suspended by the state's new governor Friday, a source familiar with the process told CNN.
"Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership", DeSantis said in a statement on Friday, accusing Israel of demonstrating "repeated incompetence and neglect of duty". I served the county honorably.
The Marjory Stoneman Douglas public safety commission found that officials involved with the response to the shooting, including sheriff's deputies and high school assistant principals, offered accounts that contradicted surveillance video and other evidence. "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.
A state airplane carrying Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis had a mechanical problem and was forced to make an emergency landing in St. Petersburg this afternoon. Rick Scott, had refused to suspend the sheriff, saying he wanted to wait until investigations were complete before deciding.
"The families of the victims deserve accountability", De Santis said. While campaigning, DeSantis said he would have dismissed Israel for his role in the deadly shooting. Deputies also received two calls about suspect Nikolas Cruz in the months before the massacre saying he had amassed an arsenal and was a potential school shooter, but took no action.
Sheriff Israel has already said he intends to request a trial before the Florida Senate to fight for his job.
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Under Florida law, the governor can suspend elected officials for criminal activity, misfeasance, incompetence or neglect of duty. Loesch questioned Israel at the time.
"There certainly were mistakes made, " Kaplan said.
Israel said then he would not resign.
Ryan Petty, father of Alaina Petty, said the failure of Israel's deputies to confront the shooter reflects deficient leadership in the sheriff's office.
"I have served with many of these men and women through my law enforcement career, and they're not self-serving", he said.
In response, Israel told the commission that he didn't want deputies entering into "suicide missions", according to the Associated Press. 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.