Parkland shooting

Peterson Arrest Adds A Wrinkle To Suspended Broward Sheriff's Appeal

Jun 10, 2019
Sun Sentinel

With a hearing poised to start next week on the fate of suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, one of his attorneys suggested Monday that the case could be affected by the arrest of Scot Peterson, the former resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Israel has appealed to the Florida Senate as he fights his ouster by Gov. Ron DeSantis, who alleged that “neglect of duty” and “incompetence” by Israel were connected to the February 2018 mass shooting at the Parkland high school that killed 17 people.

Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission
Caitie Switalski / WLRN

This post was updated at 5:25 p.m.

Police chiefs in Broward are pushing for the sheriff's office (BSO) to take over management of the regional 911 communications system from the county.

Amy Beth Bennett

When every second counted, as students were screaming and dying in their classrooms, school security officer Scot Peterson hid rather than respond. His inaction resulted in his arrest Tuesday on charges of neglecting his duty.

Peterson stood alone in the Broward County Main Jail’s prisoner assembly room for his first court appearance Wednesday morning. He is charged with seven counts of child neglect with great bodily harm, three counts of culpable negligence and exposure to harm, and one count of perjury, records showed.

Broward Sheriff's Office

This story was updated at 7:45 p.m. 

The Florida Department of Law Enforcement has arrested former Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson for his inaction during the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland last year, which left 17 dead and 17 others injured.

Pool Image via AP

Prosecutors are seeking mental health and medical records of the former student charged with last year's Florida school massacre. 

Prosecutors will ask Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Tuesday to order a psychologist and an orthopedic clinic turn over Nikolas Cruz's records.

Courtesy of the Sun Sentinel

A judge has dismissed a Florida school board's request that a newspaper and two reporters be held in contempt for publishing information about the former student charged with last year's campus massacre.

Judge Elizabeth Scherer on Monday dismissed the Broward County School Board's request that she find the South Florida Sun Sentinel in contempt for publishing redacted material from an August report about Nikolas Cruz's educational background. The district argued the material was redacted to protect his privacy.

Broward County Public Schools

Michelle Kefford, the Flanagan High School principal who was recently named Florida’s 2019 principal of the year, will be the new principal at Stoneman Douglas High, replacing Ty Thompson (and co-principal Teresa Hall).

Kefford was formerly a science teacher at Stoneman Douglas.

With the pending payout of a parent's life insurance policy, the confessed Parkland, Fla., school shooter could get more than $430,000. So he is no longer entitled to be represented for free by a public defender, his lawyers said in a court filing Wednesday asking to withdraw from the case.

"It has come to the attention of undersigned counsel that Nikolas Cruz is a beneficiary in a MetLife life insurance policy and is entitled to half of a death benefit valued at $864,929.17 as of April 23, 2019," the Broward County Public Defender's Office wrote.

Wilfredo Lee / Associated Press

Suspended Broward Sheriff Scott Israel lost his fight Tuesday to have the Florida Supreme Court return him to duty.

The court ruled that Gov. Ron DeSantis had the constitutional authority to suspend Israel for lapses in his agency when responding to mass shootings at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland and the Fort Lauderdale airport.

Israel argued the suspension was politically motivated and usurped the will of voters.

He can still fight his suspension in the Florida Senate, which is responsible for upholding or overturning the governor’s suspension.

Florida Senate Passes Controversial Bill Arming Teachers

Apr 23, 2019
Leslie Ovalle / WLRN

In search of a solution that will prevent another school massacre, a sharply divided Florida Senate on Tuesday passed a wide-ranging school safety bill that includes a controversial provision aimed at adding armed teachers to the line of defense.

The Senate passed the bill on a 22-17 vote, with Democrats and Sen. Anitere Flores, R-Miami, opposed to the legislation’s expansion of the school “guardian” program to allow armed classroom teachers. The program was created last year and has allowed other school staff members to be armed if districts approve.

Cruz
Mike Stocker/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP / WLRN

Attorneys defending Nikolas Cruz are hoping to speak to people from Henderson Behavioral Health about their impressions while treating Cruz in years prior to the 2018 Parkland school shooting. 

 

Inside the courtroom the defense argued that if they are unable to speak with witnesses informally - that means without the state present - they would be “ineffective” in representing him against the death penalty. 

Florida lawmakers are responding to a report on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting in Parkland with a measure that addresses concerns raised in the 480-plus page report. Lawmakers say it’s "a good bill, but"—noting a divide over one portion that gives districts the option to allow classroom teachers to carry guns. The measure is now going before the full Senate amid controversy over the issue.

Al Diaz / Miami Herald

Nearly a year after its first meeting, the state commission tasked with investigating the Parkland school shooting and making recommendations designed to prevent future massacres considered what its role should be in studying Florida’s mental health treatment system.

The members’ conclusion: It’s not our job.

“Mental health is a big topic. I think we have to be careful about transforming this into a mental health commission,” the commission’s chair, Pinellas County sheriff Bob Gualtieri, said during Wednesday’s meeting at the BB&T Center in Sunrise.

Associated Press

Lawyers representing the families of students and staff killed or injured in last year's mass school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland began filing 20 lawsuits on Wednesday against defendants including: the Broward County School Board, the Broward County Sheriff's Office (BSO), Broward County Sheriff's officer Scot Peterson, MSD campus monitor Andrew Medina and Henderson Behavioral Health Inc. of Florida.

The shared complaint, at least of the first 10 suits filed, is negligence:

Sam Turken / WLRN

The state commission that is investigating the Parkland school shooting met on Wednesday with families of victims of the massacre to discuss their traumatic experiences of finding out about their loved ones’ fates after the shooting.

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