Cowardice and Neglect of Duty


" The only armed sheriff’s deputy at a Florida high school where 17 people were killed took cover outside rather than charging into the building when the massacre began, the Broward County sheriff said on Thursday. The sheriff also acknowledged that his office received 23 calls related to the suspect going back a decade, including one last year that said he was collecting knives and guns, but may not have adequately followed up.

The deputy, Scot Peterson, resigned on Thursday after being suspended without pay after Sheriff Scott Israel reviewed surveillance video.

“He never went in,” Sheriff Israel said in a news conference. He said the video showed Deputy Peterson doing “nothing.”

“There are no words,” said Sheriff Israel, who described himself as “devastated, sick to my stomach.”"  NY Times


And how could Sheriff Israel not be sick at heart at this display of cowardice by one of his men, a man sworn to protect these children if necessary by sacrificing his life for them.

I am old and past the time when false modesty obstructs free expression of the harshness of truth.  I have faced many bullets in the performance of duty and I judge Peterson a coward who should be punished for his cowardice..  pl

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159 Responses to Cowardice and Neglect of Duty

  1. Tyler says:

    Pretty convenient Sheriff Israel decided to let this fact slip after blaming the NRA for his department’s failures during CNN’s struggle session.

  2. Laura says:

    wow…instant conspiracy theory. Good job, Tyler.

  3. DianaLC says:

    I have never faced danger from a shooter. I have no idea how I would react if I did. But I know that I would have never taken a job that might require me to do just that if I didn’t think I could do it. (With my extreme nearsightedness comes no eye-hand coordination, so I have also chosen never to own a gun since my aim would be terrible.)
    However, as a mother when my children were small, I knew in my heart that I would take a bullet if it would save them.
    I just recently re-read the memories of one of my dearest friends who had served in Vietnam. He was drafted. I have cried many tears for my friends who served in that war after hearing some of their memories. I have to accept that these friends are somehow now better than I am as humans since they have been tested the way they were and have grown kinder and more thoughtful than they were as boys.
    We owe so much to men and women who can take up arms for the sake of others, who are willing to scar their own hearts and souls, and be harmed physically sometimes, for others and perhaps be killed themselves.
    But to take a paycheck without the determination to carry out one’s duty, especially if doing one’s duty is to protect others is quite wrong. He will spend the rest of his life now remembering that day and re-evaluating his worth as a man.

  4. BillWade says:

    The whole thing just smells.

  5. John Minnerath says:

    Shameful cowardice, but is there any punishment for a civilian police officer who neglects to do his duty?
    Probably nothing more than losing his job and this guy took the easy way out by resigning.

  6. That coward has to live with himself. I can’t think of a more fitting and terrifying punishment. Even if he manages to hide far away from his friends, family and community, he cannot hide from the knowledge and consequences of his cowardice. He will relive it for the rest of his life.

  7. turcopolier says:

    your comment would well apply to an honorable man who failed in the instant. Some people have no honor. pl

  8. turcopolier says:

    BillWade smells of what? pl

  9. turcopolier says:

    Diana LC
    Wounded children? Why not accept your old friends as men rather than wounded children. BTW The money is nothing, the oath is everything. pl

  10. turcopolier says:

    A coward is still a coward. pl

  11. pl,
    You’re right. Under our legal system I don’t think there’s any punishment for this kind of behavior. I remember in Germany they had the Good Samaritan law. If you passed someone injured on the road and did not stop to render aid, your ass was in serious legal trouble. If this now former deputy has no sense of shame over his inactions, it doesn’t say much for the selection and training process of that sheriff’s department.

  12. Jack says:

    Yes, Deputy Peterson was a coward and failed in his duty as a Sheriff’s Deputy. This case is another example of a significant failure of law enforcement (FBI, Police, Sheriff) as well as the school authorities. This deranged young man was reported many times to the authorities including the FBI for making specific threats. No one took any action. This is a broad systemic failure and IMO, exemplifies the depth of incompetence and politicization across all levels of government.

  13. Jack says:

    He will still get his pension as he retired.

  14. Ishmael Zechariah says:

    Col. Lang,
    re: “The money is nothing, the oath is everything”
    Absolutely. And this is universal. The draftees in TSK get paid a pittance but they take a public oath, all together, after basic training, with one hand on a weapon. Those who have never taken such an oath might not realize its power. You really cannot betray it and live with yourself. I guess this is what TTG was also stating.
    Do the police in US also take such an oath?
    Ishmael Zechariah

  15. Dabbler says:

    Agree re Peterson. Dereliction of this MOST SACRED duty should be punished; he should not be left to dwell with whatever conscience he may have (which might in any case be in conflict with “well at least I made it through”). I’ve entrusted the care of my many children & grandchildren to others; others have entrusted theirs to me. My strong instiinct is that Peterson should suffer.
    At another level, what should be made of the acknowledgement that Sheriff Israel/predecessors, as well as FBI etc. “may not have adequately followed up”? Should the sheriff feel a little sick at heart when he looks in the mirror even though we here generally don’t practice prior restraint?

  16. confusedponderer says:

    re: Germany and the failure to provide first aid to a person in need is punishable under § 323c of its criminal penal code.
    Since I am from Germany I can clarify. We don’t have a good samaritan law per se but you describe it correctly. Not giving first aid to a wounded person in an accident is simply regarded as a criminal act under § 323c StGB “failure to render assistance”.
    About that law I have a little story. I had that accident two years ago that kept me in hospital for about two years, but I am getting back into work.
    Anyway, a couple months ago one morning I went to get a good, fresh coffee in the kitchen. There I met a colleague making her bread.
    While doing that the lady happily told me openly that she had seen my accident but didn’t help me, because she had an appointment. I was … surprised. Thank the Lord I had saner persons helping me (which is why I am still alive) and was spared her attention then.
    What she had confessed is the sort of crime I have very little sympathy for, and even less so this case, and I found that telling very odd, to put it politely.
    After the accident, so I was told, the lady had roamed the house for a few weeks telling her odd story, and some odder stories, and she scared people. Thus she got undeserved help since saner folks from the company prevented her from talking to the cops, knowing that she would have digged her own grave if she did. My point to that would be ‘Ah well, good riddance, threadworm‘.
    For a second I’d have liked to beat her, but sensibly I didn’t and just went away annoyed to at least drink my coffee in peace and quietness, quietly grumbling about having met a proud, criminal, drooling moron.
    From the silliness she told me I chose to believe the part I liked most, which was that the stop light I went over was green.
    To disappoint the reader: That’s however a choice, not reality. The creature said she had seen it in the back mirror of the car while she drove away. Well, it is effing impossible to see it that way since the traffic lights for pedestrians are side shielded and small and impossible to be seen in a back mirror while driving away. Also, the lady needs glasses.

  17. Webstir says:

    Evening Colonel-
    First time commenting here. I’m an Idaho plaintiffs attorney and just wanted to mention that Mr. Dereliction of Duty actually did have a duty under common law. I’m not licensed on Florida, of course, but his inaction has possibly opened him up for 17 wrongful death lawsuits.

  18. Tel says:

    I’m not going to attempt to explain the actions of that deputy, other than to say it appears he was close to retirement, and now has chosen to retire, on a pension, paid for by the people who trusted him. Make of that what you may.
    Sheriff Israel on the other hand, I remember reading comments from him at the time of the murders and what he said was this:

    “We continually ask everyone to put out the message ‘If you see something say something,’” he said. “If anyone has any indicator that someone is going through behavioral changes, if you see a disturbing photo, video, fire bombs or anything that is just not right, please make sure law enforcement knows about it.’”

    Hey buddy… a lot of people said something. There were TWO reports to the FBI, neither of which was seriously followed up, and there was a whole heap of incidents at the school (Cruz was expelled for fighting and other stuff) and there were a whole lot of domestic violence incidents (so I’ve read more than 20 police call outs), and Cruz had gone through some sort of mental illness. How many red flags would it take?
    Then this useless so called “Sheriff” starts talking about how we should trust in the professionals and everyone hand in their guns; well please give one good reason why anyone should trust you Sheriff Israel.

  19. Tel says:
    Quick checklist:
    * Young man with mental health issues.
    * Happened on Sheriff Israel’s watch.
    * FBI knew in advance but did nothing.
    * History of domestic violence (prosecuted for strangling his ex).
    * Plenty of red flags, all ignored.
    * Incident used as leverage for gun control.
    Third time lucky? But wait, we just have to say something to the authorities, right? That will surely make us safe. Won’t it??

  20. blowback says:

    Taking away his pension – he quit because he could retire.

  21. BillWade says:

    We’ve now tried and convicted two people in the court of public opinion before all the facts are in. One, a 19 year old with an inheritance trust of $800,000. when he turns 22; the other a Florida sheriff with 32 years of service who, more than likely, this being Florida, has been involved in numerous risky situations. The former should be presumed innocent for now, the latter – I want to hear his side of the facts.

  22. turcopolier says:

    There is no “his side of the matter.” There can be no excuses made for this man unless you are soft in the head. pl

  23. turcopolier says:

    What a pathetic self-absorbed man you are. You remind me of Geraldo Rivera who said that because he was from NY he cared about 9/11. What? If he had been from somewhere else he would not have cared? pl

  24. Fred says:

    “We’ve now tried and convicted two people in the court of public opinion ….”
    I believe you have the number of legal gun owners in the Republic wrong.

  25. Eric Newhill says:

    The deputy’s inaction is indeed inexcusable any way you look at it. I just heard his union rep weakly attempting some small amount of deflection (hey, it’s the rep’s job, I guess) – something about followed some procedures of lesser importance per the book – but then basically agreeing that the failure to address the shooter is unacceptable. So even the union guy won’t defend the deputy on the count of cowardice.

  26. BillWade says:

    Whether I’m soft in the head or not is debatable, lol. I want to know why this particular officer was assigned to the school. Is it one of those, “well, he’s a good guy but he’s been hitting the bottle a bit, let’s put him out to pasture over at the school”? I kinda think Sheriff Israel needs to be looked at. He’s let numerous warnings pass by, has he also assigned his “best” to this school?
    Since the Columbine shooting, over 10,000 police officers have been assigned to various schools, probably 99.9% have never had to deal with a shooter situation but they have managed to arrest over 1 million students for various, usually minor, offenses. I call that, “things ain’t working”.

  27. Babak Makkinejad says:

    I believe these agencies do not have the manpower to pursue every lead and then to remain on that lead for a long period of time.
    Of course the fellow was deranged but where would you lock him up?
    40 years ago, under the guise of “Community Care”, mental institutions were closed down and the inmates released to the community care – in reality, they became criminals or vagrants – street people.
    But the electorate saved a ton of money in the form of lower taxes.

  28. turcopolier says:

    Bill Wade
    What is your solution to the problem of mass shootings? pl

  29. turcopolier says:

    Someone said here that this is a management problem. It is to the extent that it is necessary to try to weed out unsuitables from duty assignments that may require emergency actions, but, in fact it is not possible to actually know how a person will perform in combat until you see them do it. For that reason dereliction of duty must be punished to encourage wobblers to do their duty. pl

  30. Barbara Ann says:

    A new euphemism is added to the lexicon; to take up a position.
    There is only one honorable course of action in the aftermath of such a gross dereliction of one’s duty. But I expect TTG is right, the guy will choose to live with himself. Should the State punish the crime of cowardice? Perhaps in such cases it should. If it helps select the right good guy with a gun, that surely cannot be a bad thing.

  31. Eric Newhill says:

    At the risk of going too far off-topic, I will explain how the mental system works (and it usually does work if everyone does their part).
    Cruz had a long history of psychiatric and criminal issues and a diagnosis. In the months prior to the school shooting he had; 1) made statements about becoming a mass murder 2) had made videos of cutting himself 3) had assaulted a fellow student at the school – there’s more, but those three items are sufficient. The carry of and dealing in knives at school is icing on the cake.
    The cutting (self-harm) and the assault (danger to others)are classic examples of what gets people petitioned into involuntary court ordered mental health commitment/treatment. IMO, Cruz is an incurable sociopath. However, under the court order people like him are often placed in group homes, outpatient treatment subsequent to a spell inpatient and – mostly importantly – they are not allowed to be in possession of firearms or other weapons. The court could have – and would have – ordered all guns to be confiscated. The police would come and take weapons.
    Moreover, under the court order, any deviation from the treatment plan would have resulted in Cruz being re-placed in an inpatient setting, under lockdown, until deemed stabilized to return to the group home. With each subsequent decompensation it would become easier to pick him up and place increasingly tighter restrictions on his freedoms. Finally, the courts typically order medication. The medication would not cure him, but it would certainly take the wind out of his psycho sails. If he refused to comply with the medicine on his own, he’d be forced to have it injected. The injections would last two weeks to a month depending on the medicine selected. Basically, turn him into a zombie if need be.
    This sort of public mental health intervention regime happens every day all across the country. It works. The system failed in this instance. There are reasons why, but we have not yet heard what those reasons are.

  32. Colonel,
    What you say is so self-evident as to require no comment in itself. But I believe it is also the case that the regulations and protocols prescribing what officers or emergency workers should do in such circumstances should be examined. It has seemed for some time now that those regulations are drawn so tightly and in such detail that they can inhibit the normal human response to such a catastrophe.
    Four minutes can be a very long time. Allow a while to get over the shock and realise what’s happening and that still leaves the bulk of the time unaccounted for. Was the Deputy simply standing there for the remaining time, or was he in communication with his superiors or receiving instructions during that time?
    Would the Deputy’s Standing Orders or training procedures have prescribed intervening immediately in such a case, or staying where he was and waiting for back-up?
    I am reminded of an event reported some time ago. As it was reported, rescue workers stood on the edge of a pond while a boy was drowning because regulations forbade simply entering the water and wading out to him. Similar precautionary regulations sometimes impede the work of firemen.
    Cowardice is cowardice whatever the book says and the Deputy will have to live with that. So will the parents whose children could have been saved had he intervened. But courage is not made easier if regulation or training forbid it.
    We live in an increasingly legalistic and tick-box culture, so much so that the Letter of the Law can sometimes go dead against the Spirit. “My word is my bond” has been replaced with “Sue me, if you have the time and money.” Fairness and (dare one use the word) Justice have been replaced by minute adherence to intricate prescription. “Getting the job done” for officials has been replaced with a slavish following of regulation with the pension at risk if you don’t. Coming from an army background you will perhaps not be able to envisage circumstances in which cowardice is not dereliction of duty. I fear we are moving towards a society in which cowardice or courage are irrelevant and “did you follow procedure?” the only question that matters.
    That’s why I’d like to know more about that Deputy. Was the fault his alone, as the Sheriff indicates, or was it also a fault inherent in how his service is regulated and administered.

  33. TV says:

    FBI drops the ball BIG time, police go to Cruz’s house 39 times – no big deal – and now armed officer lies down.
    Do we need another (unenforceable) law?
    How about law enforcement at least TRYING to do its job?

  34. BillWade says:

    Not really any solution unless we go back in time. We’ll continue to medicate children with psychotropic drugs, won’t let “boys be boys”, will make sure the children get a sub-par education, promote “victimhood”, promote transgender lifestyles for tykes of all ages, denigrate white males via television (ads and shows), you know this list goes on and I could, really could, elaborate further but won’t.

  35. adamski says:

    So easy to judge…

  36. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Thank you for your comments.
    I cannot agree with your assessment about the structures of Mental Health in the United States.
    From personal experience as well as such publicly available sources: e.g.
    It only works – when it does – if one is very very wealthy and lives in wealthy counties.

  37. BillWade says:

    I’m not sure if it’s a management problem or not, haven’t heard any facts about the officer assigned to the school. If he is derelict, I agree wholeheartedly he should be punished to set an example for others. I do think though that it’s a management problem if Sheriff Israel doesn’t himself retire.

  38. Mark Logan says:

    re: punishment
    If the version being presented now pans out as accurate: Loss of pension. Brave men can be cowards for a moment and reverse for cowards, but 4 minutes is an eternity.
    I pity him, nonetheless.

  39. jpb says:

    The ‘diversity and inclusion’ policy failed to ensure 17 students in the Broward School completed their education or even their natural lives. There was a contentious school board meeting in my community over school policy of keeping violent and disruptive students in the class. The school’s allow the disrupting student to ‘act-out’ until he or she is quiet. Normal students are removed from the class room and another day of education is wasted for the dubious benefit of the problem student. These disruptions occur on a daily basis at the local middle schools. The principle of the local school praised the policy of ‘diversity and inclusion’ and dismissed the outrage of parents.
    What are we to do?
    “To ensure all students have the ability to complete their education and to eliminate the “school house to jailhouse pipeline,” Superintendent Runcie led BCPS efforts to become a national model for ending zero tolerance policies for non-violent offences in schools. With the support of the School Board and through collaborative community efforts, BCPS has instituted new, effective practices for handling student behavior incidents, without resorting to law enforcement involvement. Student-related arrests are down by 65% since Runcie’s arrival.” Superintendent Robert W. Runcie
    Sundance investigated the misguided policies of the Broward County School System and the Broward County Sheriff’s department after the Travon Martin affair. His work is found in several recent article at the following link.

  40. turcopolier says:

    Yes in this case and I am good at it. pl

  41. turcopolier says:

    Sophistic nonsense. If he had done his duty many fewer were likely to have died. pl

  42. turcopolier says:

    I am surprised that you come at me with that “stupid soldier” nonsense. This is not an academic discussion. If this man had done his duty many fewer would have died. pl

  43. Babak Makkinejad says:

    The State requirement for compulsory post-elementary education can be rescinded.

  44. BrotherJoe says:

    My memory may be failing me but I think that at Colombine the whole police
    department was criticized for going by the book and waiting almost an hour before entering the building.

  45. Eric Newhill says:

    I worked my way through grad school as an employee of a populous county, with a disproportionate share of lunatics (low cost of living and nice weather). My job was to throw a net on feral insane people. Because I was involved in the interventions – usually including a takedown of some kind prompted by dangerous behavior, etc – I was often asked to testify at the hearings. I found the hearings interesting and frequently sat through the whole thing. It was extremely rare that the court failed to find the patient in need of court ordered treatment as I described. I was not infrequently involved in the re-capture of these people per the descriptions in my original post. None of these people were wealthy; nor was the county. Quite the opposite.
    Many years later, in a very different region of the country, a family member was the one in need of that kind of intervention. It worked just like my previous experience. I repeat that it works very well. When it works it is unnoticed. The failures get attention. Something is wrong in Broward Co in all of the govt agencies.
    Apologies to Col Lang for going off topic again. I will drop this line of discussion now.

  46. Fred says:

    There have been more than 29 shooting related deaths in Baltimore and more than 60 in Chicago. That’s year to date numbers and in only two cities one of which is fostered the creation of the political movement known as BLM. Those deaths aren’t part of the narrative of “since colmbine” so the media ignores them, just like they did last year. The ideology of the far left that changed our schools and cities into what they are today started long before columbine.

  47. Duck1 says:

    18 US Code 875 makes it a federal offense to threaten to injure another person while engaging in Interstate Commerce. This fellow made threats to be a professional school shooter on Youtube. A proper FBI investigation would not have been prior restraint, the threat was the violation.

  48. All,
    Societies cannot survive without some culture of honour.
    One cannot sustain such cultures unless there are serious sanctions for dishonourable conduct (as well as rewards for honourable.)
    The point of such sanctions is partly to create fear, but it is not just that. It is clearly to mark out such conduct as dishonourable – to burn a message into people’s thick heads.
    Inevitably, in this process there will, not all that infrequently, be elements of ‘rough justice.’
    It does not seem to me that severely punishing this man would be such.

  49. turcopolier says:

    The solution lies in magnetometers at every entrance and armed guards or trained selected teachers who will do their duty unlike this cur. pl

  50. GeneO says:

    @Babak M: “40 years ago, under the guise of “Community Care”, mental institutions were closed down and the inmates released to the community care – in reality, they became criminals or vagrants – street people.”
    And the big pharmaceuticals made huge profits! I seem to recall the start of deinstitutionalizing mental patients was even earlier when Thorazine was introduced as the first antipsychotic. Here is an ad from 1960:
    But many states held on until 1984 when the tipping point finally arrived due to federal defunding.
    As for Scot Peterson, IMO he should eat his gun.

  51. SmoothieX12 says:

    That coward has to live with himself. I can’t think of a more fitting and terrifying punishment.
    Yes, this is not a good way to live. The situation, however, is aggravated by the fact that children were there and many of them died. This is not burden one wants to have in one’s life.

  52. Tosk59 says:

    With reference to “the 23 calls” this Twitter thread (FWIW) seems to indicate a much bigger problem/mess…

  53. Alaric says:

    This person was a cop not a soldier. Most don’t go into the police force expecting to get shot at and that is rare. In the NYC area from which I am from, most go into the force for salary, pension and benefits not to fight crime. But yes this person was a coward. The thought of young students being killed should have inspired him to overcome his fear.
    Disclaimer: I’ve never been shot at and I don’t know how I would act in that situation. My father was once held “hostage” for an hour or so by one of his psychiatric patients in NYC. My father knew the gun was fake I think. NYPD did not. He described the NYPD officers who came to his office that day as the biggest bunch of cowards he ever saw.

  54. A.Pols says:

    This may be somewhat out of line to say, but I wonder if he’d have any trouble pulling the trigger on a drunk staggering towards him with a steak knife and still 50 feet away, or on someone who he “thought he saw reaching towards his waistband”.

  55. Greco says:

    Wow, struggle session perfectly describes the CNN townhall. The thought didn’t cross my mind until now.
    For those unfamiliar with the phrase, it refers to a public shaming carried out primarily by students and youths against parents and teachers during Mao’s cultural revolution.

  56. AK says:

    The Colonel’s case in comment #46 is clearly made in the December 8th, 2004 nightclub shooting in Columbus, OH in which 4 people died, in addition to the shooter. During a band’s live performance, a mentally deranged former Marine entered the club from the side door, walked on stage with a Beretta 9mm, and killed the band’s lead guitarist with a single shot to the forehead. He then fired into the crowd, killing three others and wounding a few more. Here is Rolling Stone’s account of the actions of the first responding officer:
    “From the backstage area, Officer James Niggemeyer appeared, carrying a twelve-gauge Remington shotgun. He walked past a stack of amplifiers and saw Gale, who had taken a male hostage. Holding his gun to the unidentified man’s head, Gale began moving toward the rear of the club. From twenty feet away, Niggemeyer fired once, killing Gale.”
    The hostage was rescued unharmed. I lived in Columbus at the time and happened to know the county medical examiner who was charged with processing Gale’s body at the morgue. He told me, “All I can tell you is that the cop had ice in his veins when he fired that shot. It was spot on.”
    Ten years later, it was reported that officer Niggemeyer had ongoing PTSD and had to leave the force for that reason. Say what you want about his mental or spiritual fortitude in the aftermath of the event, but in that moment he did his duty. There is no telling how many more lives would have been lost had Officer Niggemeyer not acted. What is absolutely certain is that the body count would not have stayed at four.

  57. catherine says:

    When I think of the cowardly deputy for some reason my mind flashes to the sight of NY firemen rushing into the burning World Trade Center. I can’t find any excuse for him, he had a gun and could have used it.
    But I also want to know why the people Cruz was living with allowed him to have a weapon. According to the Miami Herald during the time he lived with them 23 calls to the police were made about his behavior.

  58. pl,
    An estimate from 2010 to put two police officers in every school was upwards of 10 billion. Some schools may only need one, others need more than two. I think thats a good ballpark figure for up-armoring our schools. Our society has clearly demonstrated that it does not want to pay more to protect, never mind educate our children. Accruing wealth and tax breaks trumps our children’s future. (No pun intended.) All the left-right anguish we’re enduring now is nothing compared to this one sad fact. I wonder if this coward of Broward County was thinking more of his pension than of the kids.

  59. AK says:

    I think the point that Tyler is trying to make is that during that shambolic CNN “town hall”, Sheriff Israel behaved 100% like an elected party official with a political agenda (which he is, technically) and absolutely refused to represent himself as a chief law enforcement officer (which he also is, not only technically, but ethically). I watched the event, and it was, to say the least, disgustingly political.
    I cannot for a moment entertain the notion that Israel had not yet seen the CCTV footage or known the facts behind his deputy’s response when he went on stage at the town hall, and yet he sat there and not only deflected all responsibility from himself or his department, but did so in a reprehensibly sanctimonious fashion. His response should have been then and should be now: “My department failed miserably. Therefore, I failed miserably. I take responsibility for this.” Sure, there is more responsibility to go around, but he needs to man up and eat more than his share, if for no other reason than that the stature of his office demands it.

  60. Colonel – that was very far from my mind and I’m sorry indeed that that is how it read, but if you’ll permit me I’ll hold to my point – no serviceman or ex-serviceman I’ve ever met would have behaved as that Deputy was reported to have behaved. They might perhaps have done the wrong thing but they’d have done something.
    So too with civilians, at least if they’d grasped what was happening and had been in a position to do anything. This occurrence is in fact abnormal.
    Therefore it is permissible to enquire whether it’s abnormal merely because this one individual was abnormal, or whether there is some factor in the training or in the terms of service of the Deputy that led to him thinking it was permissible for him to act as he did.
    Though I did not say so in my comment I believe there might be. The fact that he was not subjected to disciplinary action, and the fact that he was permitted to take his retirement, indicates that his superiors also believe that what he did, though clearly wrong, was within the current rules and regulations.
    If that’s so then there’s something wrong with the current rules and regulations.
    I’d also like to hear the Deputy’s side of the story, if only to be sure that the reporting of it is undisputed.
    Again, apologies for not setting that out clearly in my initial comment.

  61. Mike C says:

    Signal boosting JPB in comment 41: something important that sets all of this in context.
    Miami-Dade and Broward counties were actively ignoring juvenile crime to game the statistics, which got them more federal funds.
    The source material posted within the article in that last link appears credible.
    Also worth noting that Peterson, who stood around during the shooting, had dealt with the eventual murderer more than once back in 2016. It had become policy, at the local level at least, to sweep that person’s behavior under the rug.

  62. turcopolier says:

    In spite of DJT’s statements to the unsophisticated at CPAC there is a rational limit for the size of the defense budget. 10-20 billion a year does not seem excessive to me if a different, less aggressive foreign policy were adopted. pl

  63. pl,
    I would heartily support a major shift in our national priorities. I think there should be a massive increase in support to improving primary education, including student safety. Hell, the defense budget could easily absorb building the wall and beefing up the border patrol as well as renewing our education system.

  64. turcopolier says:

    Whether or not he was afraid is utterly irrelevant. He took the “king’s shilling” and swore an oath to protect the people. Do you think all soldiers are unafraid? I have seen many booted in the ass to get them to do their duty. this is especially true the first time out of the barn. read “the Red Badge of Courage” or “the thin Red Line ” to see accounts of the transformations that take place with experience. If you do not hold people who have accepted the responsibility to high standards of performance society will simply disintegrate as the hoodlums take over. pl

  65. turcopolier says:

    You are a stereotypical Canadian. You actually like being a lapdog for government. pl

  66. turcopolier says:

    NRA members are a tiny minority in US Society. BTW, NRA’s financial contributions to political candidates are quite small. Look it up. The records are public. What you and other people who are terrified of guns miss is that most Americans support the 2nd Amendment and will not be disarmed. If the US is so terrifying stay north of the border. Stay out of Hawaii and Florida. pl

  67. John Minnerath says:

    I think James would soil his skivies here in Wyoming.

  68. Walrus says:

    Police training changed as a result of Columbine. The practice now is to immediately head for the source of the gunfire and neutralize the shooter fast, period. My son has had this training and its practiced in pairs on a range every so often. Australia adopted this “post Columbine” approach after the Lindt Cafe siege in Sydney.
    HOWEVER police members are still subject to the same OHS regulations as the rest of us – all that “safe workplace” BS. Hence I fail to understand how there can be a LEGAL requirement for the Deputy to endanger his own safety (rescue rule 1 – do not become a casualty yourself, etc.).
    Having said that, as Col. Lang states, the Deputy had a moral responsibility to act and didn’t. I therefore pity him and include him in the casualty list.
    I cannot condemn his inaction like the good Colonel because (A) I have not been under fire and (B) In post – deconstructionalist America “Honor” is an outdated concept for the slicky boys who run things and their acolytes. If he had gotten killed they would be abusing him for either not saving more, accidentally killing a kid or gunning down a harmless mental patient who was just acting out, all while doing their best to bilk his wife out of her pension and insurance payout.
    To put that another way, I expect a class action is only days away from being started by a bunch of greedy lawyers..

  69. Fred says:

    “the viewpoint of the usa as one scary messed up place increases..”
    That ought to cut the immigration rate significantly. Remind me again how the US compares to non-s***holes like Venezuala, various states in Mexico or places like Zimbabwe yet people still come her by the millions every year?
    “at what point does the usa revisit it’s self concept”
    That’s what the cultural marxists on the left have been doing for 50 years, changing the self concept from individual liberty – and the responsbility that goes with it – to one of victimhood and resentment.

  70. JohnsonR says:

    Clearly the man failed when he was tested and unless he is utterly contemptible (which we do not know – failure itself is merely human) that will likely haunt him for the rest of his life, especially because of the consequences. But like English Outsider, while I’m happy to condemn his actions, I’d prefer to know more before passing final judgement.
    He was a police officer, not a military man showing cowardice in the face of the enemy. That is a slightly different situation imo. Settled law over here (UK) is that the police have no duty to protect the public, only to do what they can to uphold the law, preserve the peace and prevent offences and they have discretion in how to achieve that. The police oath here is to that effect (“uphold the law and preserve the peace and prevent offences”). Maybe those things are different over there, and maybe you don’t accept any difference between an oath to “preserve the peace” and one to “protect the people”.
    But I’d like to know what his training and orders were. Bad doctrine certainly can mean that people on the spot are left confused and paralysed, and insufficiently dynamic in response to a rapidly evolving situation. I understand that’s pretty much what some of the criticism at Columbine was about, and why policy was changed to emphasise going immediately to the shooter’s location. This man should have been trained to do that. Why didn’t he? If it was purely fear on his part, then he has no defence and deserves no sympathy or respect. Overcoming fear to do your duty is the basic measure of a man, whether it’s obeying orders in battle or sacrificing yourself to protect your family.
    If, on the other hand, he had been given inappropriate training or orders then it might be appropriate to have some sympathy for him (though the families of the victim likely won’t) even while still condemning him for a disastrous failure of initiative. Not everyone makes the right decision when they have to act quickly on initiative against orders or training.
    I don’t say it’s likely, but it’s possible, and the Sheriff’s performance doesn’t inspire me with confidence in his leadership or his honesty.

  71. Clonal Antibody says:

    He was going by the Police Academy rule book

    “Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.”
    Police training starts in the academy, where the concept of officer safety is so heavily emphasized that it takes on almost religious significance. Rookie officers are taught what is widely known as the “first rule of law enforcement”: An officer’s overriding goal every day is to go home at the end of their shift. But cops live in a hostile world. They learn that every encounter, every individual is a potential threat. They always have to be on their guard because, as cops often say, “complacency kills.”

    This leads to the paradoxical situation, where a police officer will kill an unarmed subject, but wait for reinforcements at the site of an active shooting.

  72. turcopolier says:

    Yes. I have been under fire a lot and Honor is not a dead concept for me although I realize that it is for most. pl

  73. Tyler says:

    Except that’s how it went down.

  74. Tyler says:

    I’m not going to argue that. Just pointing out BCSO is a joke.

  75. Tyler says:

    Oh, I’m not arguing otherwise. Just amazed at the chutzpah of (((Sheriff Israel))) demanding our guns and saying the NRA has blood on its hands in light of the amazing failures of his department.

  76. steve says:

    Wow! As a former mental health technician who has helped fill out hundreds of involuntary commitment papers, I would say that you have described what happens in some ideal world, but is not what really happens most of the time. Unless things have vastly changed since I did that kind of work, and I have good reason to think it has not, at least for Pennsylvania.

  77. Fred says:

    ” officers are taught what is widely known as the “first rule of law enforcement””
    Let me guess: Black Lives Matter. The rest, not so much? As told by the Miami Herald.
    Let me help you with the conclusion “This leads to…”
    Civil service job with union protection, good wages, fat pension, little accountability. Check, check, check, check, check. Sounds like we should start with elminating public service unions. A whole lot of people like this should be fired. Amazon is looking for thousands of bodies in their distribution system and guys like this can sit on their ass at the gate providing “security” and “loss protection” without having to draw anything more than a paycheck.

  78. Scott Sullivan says:

    At Columbine it took 1.5 hours to breach the school and with a SWAT team. At Newtown it took over 7 minutes with dozens cops on scene. In the Orlando nightclub shooting it took 3 hrs to enter with SWAT. So, when one cop fails to breach within 4 minutes it’s cowardice but when dozens of cops don’t breach for over an hour it’s procedural.

  79. Tel says:

    “Better to be judged by twelve than carried by six.”

    I completely agree that it’s a bad idea for police to charge in and get themselves killed. I’m not asking any police officer to put their own life on the line for me, nor for anyone else.
    However, that said, given that standard police procedure is to go cautiously, at least the deputy in question could have moved to a good position where he had visibility of the situation and a reasonable chance to catch the shooter moving in the open. Not superhero stuff, but better than standing around flat footed.
    There’s some other evidence that a drill was in progress the same day. Possibly this deputy believed it was all fake?!? We must get information about how they were briefed for this drill. News reports are various and conflicting… some say it was just a fire drill, while others said there was no drill that day.
    Finally, if the police want to be trusted by the community, they need to be honest about their own capabilities. If you cannot spare resources to investigate then don’t BS about it, don’t give this “see something say something” glib speech knowing full well it’s meaningless. Stand up, tell the truth and admit that in many cases police will not be able to protect the victims. Say that clearly before any discussion of disarming said victims.

  80. turcopolier says:

    Scott Sullivan
    There was no barrier or siege system in Florida. pl

  81. JohnsonR says:

    Or the situation where a police officer is fired for not shooting a man with a gun (he was shot out of hand by more officers arriving on the scene – the gun turned out to be unloaded apparently).
    Police officer fired for not shooting man who had unloaded gun
    Force protection uber alles.

  82. turcopolier says:

    “I’m not asking any police officer to put their own life on the line for me, nor for anyone else.” No? then why have police? Is it to give out parking tickets and eat donuts? If that is the case then the police should be disarmed as they are in the UK, except for “Armed Police!” as they cry on the scene of a crime. pl

  83. turcopolier says:

    There were four Broward County deputy sheriffs cowering out in the parking lot while gunfire could be heard in the school? All that means to me is that there four times as many police cowards as I had thought. Was there a policy in the sherriff’s department that told their people not to go to the action? If there was that was a bad policy, but a bad policy is just a bad policy. It is not a failure of leadership. If Sheriff Israel had shown up on the scene and told his men NOT to go in, that would be a failure of leadership. pl

  84. Barbara Ann says:

    If his training as a police-man overrode his inherent instincts as a man (assuming these were there) then police-men are unsuitable for this job.
    The parent of a current or ex pupil of the school or a similarly motivated lay-man would seem far more suitable. Perhaps it is time to create a dedicated School Protection Force with appropriate training, uniform – and most definitely an oath along the lines of “I will lay down my life, if necessary, to protect those under my protection”. Yes it is a tall order, but we may surprise ourselves.

  85. TV says:

    Looks like Peterson had company.
    Just came out that there were THREE more deputies at that scene who did nothing.
    I’ll bet that that Sheriff has won his last election.

  86. Eric Newhill says:

    I bet there was a policy that caused the deputies to hunker down outside the school. Sheriff Israel would have written or at least approved that policy. Thus, to some extent it is a failure of leadership on a proactive basis. Israel couldn’t imagine a school shooting and what it would entail?
    That said, any non-coward on the scene would have said “Screw the regs” and gone in.

  87. NancyK says:

    Maybe we should be comparing ourselves to Japan, New Zealand, Norway, not Venezuela, Mexico, Zimbabwe.

  88. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Man is alive not by bread alone but by knowledge of Word of God (Ruhollah).

  89. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Write “courage” and “honor” into policy?
    You cannot be serious.

  90. NancyK says:

    I agree with you completely. I was a psychiatric nurse for 25 years of my 37 years of nursing, 10 years working at a large county facility and I never saw anything working as Eric described. Most of the mentally ill I saw were not violent and guns were not an issue. Violent boys and young men fall through the cracks.

  91. John Minnerath says:

    Re # 97
    Proulx wasn’t here long, she soon moved to the left coast and Seattle where she probably fits in better.

  92. turcopolier says:

    It is policy in the armed forces and written into law. pl

  93. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Those are much more homogeneous countries than US.

  94. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Does that make sense to you?

  95. Fred says:

    You are surprised at the political activism of the left as demonstrated by crisis actors reading scripted lines like “blood on your hands” or the concerted campaign on the left to boycott the NRA? No, I don’t think you are surprised at all. The only question is will NRA membership now be a criteria for 1. Denying employment 2. Firing of employees.
    This is not the result of the “two party system” it is the objective of the cultural Marxist left. You understand that part perfectly which is why you neglect to mention 39 contacts made over multiple years made to police agencies including the FBI and the Broward County sheriff’s office mentioning this man and his conduct and those agencies failure to take action.

  96. Eric Newhill says:

    Your ability to consistently completely miss inconvenient truths is impressive. I’d almost have to conclude you’re simply a dishonest person if I didn’t know you better.
    So you worked for a mental health system where no one was violent and where a guy with a diagnosis from way back is cutting himself, assaulting teenagers, playing with guns and knives, causing law enforcement to be at his home multiple times and stating that he wants to be a mass murderer and he wouldn’t have been petitioned and then court ordered into treatment; against his will if need be? Well, regarding the latter, if you want to know what a big part of the problem is, look no further than the mirror. Where was this? California? Regarding the former, I don’t believe you. Actually, I don’t believe the latter either – or anything else you say.

  97. Walrus says:

    I asked my Policeman son for his opinion and he said no one knows what is going to happen to a man when the fight/flight/freeze instinct kicks in until it happens. He also confirmed that the training now is for whatever police are on hand, even if its only one, to immediately head for the source of the “stimulus” (the training word) whatever it is and put an end to it. The training is in phases and phase 3 is coming up which he has been warned will be “confronting”.
    As regards mental health etc. I once considered involuntary committal of a relative but was warned that such an action would irrevocably and permanently fracture whatever relationships existed and there was no guarantee that the situation wold improve for anyone.
    I also know that the creation of such an easily used procedural option is going to result in false positives being locked up as well as inviting abuse by the State and personal enemies exactly as the SWAT response system has been.
    My guess is that someone is about to propose Government level computerised AI surveillance of all behaviour (ie: Orwells ‘big brother”) to protect the children of course. On the surface it makes sense; gun ownership, non specific threats to kill on social media, mental health issues and tip offs. To the untutored mind, with perfect hindsight it was “obvious” Cruz was a threat, or was it? Public servants also have to live with a press corps who love writing “jackbooted police trampling personal liberty” stories.

  98. Croesus says:

    On the other hand, the behavior was surely anomalous: in my limited experience, when children are threatened, the greater impulse of adults, even those on the periphery, is to rush in and attempt to take some protective action.
    Thus, it might be in line to ask whether Peterson’s behavior was “a feature or a bug.”
    Ya ya ya, conspiracy theory on the loose: but am I the only one who finds it intriguing that the media and various organizations were able to frame the situation on their terms and organize responses, within mere hours of the event.
    In my skeptic’s view, there’s almost an obligation for citizens to ask penetrating questions, even at the risk of being called a “conspiracy theorist.”

  99. turcopolier says:

    I wrote up-thread that it is true in the military as well as the police that you don’t know how someone will act under fire until you see the actual conduct. The difference in the military is that you get to see that response over and over again in sustained combat. pl

  100. Croesus,
    It doesn’t take any kind of conspiracy to call this guy, now four guys, out as cowards within seconds of hearing about it. It’s a visceral and immediate reaction. For many of us, to beat the living shit out of those cowards would have been a visceral and immediate reaction if we were there. This Peterson was at that school since 2009. He knew the students and still did nothing. Sure penetrating questions have to be asked especially now that we know this was four rather than one coward.

  101. Fred says:

    Sure thing. New Zealand and Norway have population of roughly 5 million and guess the diversity stats of the population. Should we eliminate immigration for a few generations to change our demographics to match? Of course that’s not what you want to compare, is it? How about comparing constitutional rights, like the ones enacted by “We, the Japanese people…” while Douglas MacArthur and the army of occupation looked on. If you want to compare countries then do so, I would be happy to know what you want to compare.

  102. Croesus says:

    Somehow, the gods put the right books in my hands just when they are appropriate: I’d just finished reading Lord of the Flies when the Parkland event happened. Golding introduces and closes the narrative by explaining to the reader why he treats of Boys and not Girls: “Because I was a boy, am a man, have brothers and sons, but I’ve never been a girl or a sister or a mother, and women behave much better then men . . .”
    So I assess your instant judgment, “this man/these men were cowards,” plain and simple, with the follow-up impulse to beat the crap out of him/them, to be a more typically male, and warrior, reaction than the reaction of a female: your honor as a warrior and a male/defender is deeply offended; my skeptic’s brain is demanding: What was really going on here? The real plot has been obfuscated and obviously so, and a political agenda snapped into place like clockwork.
    The fact that not one but FOUR men did nothing even more powerfully suggests to me that something else was going on, not just cowardice. There was some other plot or scheme — or grand miscommunication — taking place; there had to be: One man, a coward, but all four?
    In Lord of the Flies, even peace-loving, rules-abiding Ralph’s instincts propelled him to confront Jack the Savage/hunter in order to recover Piggy’s glasses. Jack would have plunged in eagerly, but even the law-and-order character would also have acted on natural instinct to rescue the weak or young,
    FOUR men did nothing.
    It had to have been a scheme, maybe even a conspiracy — maybe the shooter was supposed to have been shooting blanks — “as we did with Count Palmieri.”
    Further, didn’t you think it weird that the shooter was taken, alive; did not show so much as a scratch; was carefully guarded by more than four police officers to protect him???
    Something’s hinky about the whole setup.

  103. Tel says:

    Just in case anyone is in doubt about the nature of the problem here.
    Only 7 pages, but gives excellent background.

  104. turcopolier says:

    that transcript makes the FBI’s failure in the Cruz case very clear. pl

  105. Eric Newhill says:

    The content of a second call to the FBI has been released. Cruz was chopping up birds and frogs on the kitchen counter. He was throwing chairs at students and teachers, according to the caller. The caller believed that Cruz was going to “explode” and become a school shooter.
    One has to wonder why the caller contacted the FBI instead of the local police. Had they tried the local police (Israel’s office?) and been ignored?
    Back to the deputy at the school. Cruz wasn’t allowed on campus with a backpack. Who was enforcing that? The deputy’s responsibility? That deputy, assigned to the school, should have made a point of checking out Cruz every time he entered the school. The guy is not only a coward, he is incompetent.
    Throwing chairs at teachers and students? Bringing knives to school? Constant interventions by police at the home…and the man is still allowed to mix with students at school? I guess someone like NancyK runs the school system. Yep, carving up animals, cutting himself, attacking students and teachers, making statements about mass murder…couldn’t possibly be court ordered to treatment. Never happens. Nope.

  106. turcopolier says:

    That’s true. The border between the US and Canada is about as artificial as it gets. pl

  107. turcopolier says:

    Your reaction to crisis is more suitable to a PTA or League of Women Voters meeting than a real life or death event. I do not have “reactions” to things like this. I make judgments as I always did in combat. My judgment on these men has to do with their not being decent human beings who felt they had to try to save these children. Your drivel at the end about some sort of conspiracy is a desperate attempt to justify weakness. pl

  108. Eric Newhill,
    The story of Virginia state senator Creigh Deeds and his son, Gus, brought the state of court ordered mental health treatment in Virginia a few years ago. Gus was hospitalized twice and was diagnosed as “somewhat bipolar” after he was 18 and treated with medication. In 2013 he stopped taking his medication and his father sought to have him involuntarily hospitalized. In this case “a magistrate couldn’t issue a temporary detention order to someone experiencing a mental health crisis unless a bed in a facility was located. Gus Deeds was released after authorities said they couldn’t find a bed for him within the six hours allotted by law.” After his release Gus attacked his father with a knife, severely wounding him. He then shot himself. After this incident, Deeds set out to fix the way Virginia dealt with mental health in our legislature and we are better for his efforts.
    We already know there were policies in Broward County that sought to reduce the criminalization of aberrant student behavior. I don’t know what the policies about involuntary commitment for mental health issues are like in Florida. In my opinion, all those policies need to be examined at the local and state level. I’m leery of trying to solve this on a national level, but maybe there is something that could be done there.

  109. Eric Newhill says:

    Well there you have it. The system working exactly as I said it does.
    The only caveat in the case you reference is that an open bed couldn’t be located. That is a lack of resources at a point in time – the psyche hospitals were full up. That’s a different issue. All parties involved were ready to commit Gus Deeds.
    I don’t believe anyone could say that the lack of a bed impacted the Broward Co situation. Furthermore, as you note, Cruz could have been arrested on several counts, but was not due to liberal policies.

  110. NancyK says:

    I never said no one was violent, re-read what I wrote. I was involved in many take downs. Whether you believe me or not is meaningless, as I am speaking the truth. Of course there were cutters, usually women, often sexually abused. A person can be put on 72 hour hold, danger to self, others or gravely disabled. If they agree to take their meds they are relived before or during a 14 day old.

  111. Barbara Ann says:

    TTG is an (ex) warrior and AFAIK a man, but neither of these attributes are necessary to recognize blatant cowardice when you see it.
    Yes, it appears 4 men did nothing. So when it comes to the protection of our children, perhaps we ought to try a group whose instincts in this specialist area may be harder to train out.

  112. NancyK says:

    Eric, you are very rude. I am fine with sticking boys who torture animals, are abusive towards women and own and threaten others with guns and knives, in prison or a psych hospital indefinitely. I was explaining how things are not how they should be.

  113. turcopolier says:

    Once a professional soldier, always a professional soldier. BTW the remark was mine, not TTG’s. I know quite a few women who would have shot Cruz dead. pl

  114. Babak Makkinejad says:

    You put your finger on the crux of the matter – when things go South, women expect men to get out there, brave the danger, and do what is needed. Woe unto man who is held responsible for failing to protect children…

  115. Babak Makkinejad says:

    So, we come to agreement, that this system of yours works for very rich areas of US.
    The fact of the matter is that there are not enough psychiatrists, no money in that. At one time, there was pressure on NPs to perscribe psychtropic drugs over the phone. The nurses refused.

  116. Jane says:

    There is now something of a time line available.
    What I, as a civilian, would like to know is how someone trained in urban warfare would have approached this situation starting from the position of the deputy with the aim of averting further casualties.
    Further questions I have – many of which are factual and may be answered later — are:
    1) IIRC correctly I elsewhere saw a report that the deputy ran to the building after the first round of shots. Wouldn’t he have been in a safer position if he plastered himself to the side of the building — going by the Westerns I have seen?
    2) What triggered the Code Red which locked down the fire doors and required students and staff to stay in their rooms and how long did it last before it was overridden by the fire alarm set off by somebody? This is believed to be a deliberate action on the part of the shooter.
    3) Who first called in the 911 and when?
    4) What is the story with the other 2-3 Deputies who came later and also did not go in?

  117. turcopolier says:

    “how someone trained in urban warfare would have approached this situation starting from the position of the deputy with the aim of averting further casualties” You go in a door and shoot him when you find him. Might you die? Yes. pl

  118. Eric Newhill,
    “Well there you have it. The system working exactly as I said it does.”
    Except in this situation involving the son of a sitting Virginia state senator, the system failed. If there was no bed for a senators’s son, there certainly was no bed available for any other Virginian in need. The only good that came out of this was that Deeds was in a position to push the necessary legislative and budgetary changes to improve the system. There are now more beds and medical personnel in place to serve the community. Sometimes a nanny state is what is needed.

  119. Barbara Ann says:

    That wasn’t actually my point Babak. As pl said, there are many women who would have been more than happy to do what was needed when things went South here. Men are doubtless better suited to combat of the kind involved in warfare, but as pl pointed out in #109 this job is very different – it requires (at worst) a one-off instinctive reaction. My point was that appropriately trained women may be just as well suited to it.

  120. Croesus says:

    and also to Col. Lang @ 119:
    Why, then, is only the (male) security guard called a coward? How about all the other adults — male AND female — in the school: why did none of them act courageously and tackle the gunman from behind, or throw a chair at him? Were they all cowards, too? Or were only the men cowards?
    With respect, Col, & TTG & others, I think your eyes are fixed on Punch and Judy and their cowardly dance steps, and that they are distracting you from who is pulling the strings and why.
    All of the numerous oddities, including the Transcript, about this case need to be scrutinized. Cruz is emerging as almost a sympathetic character — he was certainly treated far more ‘sympathetically’ than other shooters who were dispatched w/ alacrity after having left their passports in situ. Cruz hated his “real mother” who was Jewish, but he’s anti-Semitic; he wore a Trump hat; he talked about ISIS and Allah; his ??mother died a few months ago — was that the Jewish mother that he didn’t know? father’s whereabouts??; living in a trailer park w/ a stranger who will give him investment advice? Where did all that money come from?
    The case of Herschel Grynszpan comes to mind: Dorothy Thompson created so much sympathy for Grynszpan, to the extent of creating a fund for his legal defense, but nobody knows for sure what became of Grynszpan. He was somebody’s tool, and so was/is Cruz-Makarov. We now know that Thompson was in the pay of those promoting war (Benjamin Ginsberg states this in “How the Jews Defeated Hitler,”); and once Thompson visited Palestine, became appalled at the oppression of Arabs and wrote about it, she became persona non grata. She was a managed tool, and so was Grynszpan. Was Cruz? It happened once, is it outside the realm of the possible that it happen again?
    You’re quite right, Col., my background is much closer to “PTA or League of Women Voters” than anything military or even strictly analytical (beyond the training of a CPA), but with respect, I think your military background and deep commitment to honor and courage have created a kind of logic-bind that has distracted you from a larger scheme that might be taking place.

  121. turcopolier says:

    “I think your military background and deep commitment to honor and courage have created a kind of logic-bind that has distracted you from a larger scheme that might be taking place.” something larger than the dead kids? This madman was unhappy? do you hear yourself? pl

  122. Babak Makkinejad says:

    Yes, in some alternate universe in which the all-male crews that, in this universe, go out to fix downed power lines and extinguish fires, and dig ditches are accompanied by women who are equally capable as them.

  123. Croesus,
    For the life of me, I can’t figure out who you think is pulling strings about this school shooting. Haven’t you read any of the accounts about some of the heroic actions of the coaches and teachers in the school. Heroes like Aaron Feis, Scott Beigel and Cris Hixon gave their lives protecting those kids. Many others who survived saw their duty and protected the kids to the best of their abilities. There’s no conspiratorial strings there, just the best of humanity. We should all seek to emulate them with all the humility and honor we can muster, not dwell on your sordid little conspiracy theories.
    As Colonel Lang said, you think our “military background and deep commitment to honor and courage” blinds us in some way? Nonsense. I revel in that blindness. This world would be a much better place if more were afflicted with such blindness.

  124. Babak Makkinejad says:

    It is not a nanny-state thingy, it is taking action in minimizing potential loss of the most useful thing to us human beings, viz. Another Human Being.

  125. Barbara Ann says:

    OK duty/cowardice 101: A person not armed & employed specifically to tackle a shooter has no duty to & is not expected to do so. If they do they are a hero, but if they do not they are not a coward. Conversely, a person whose is armed & whose job it is to protect the children is expected to do so. They may well still be a hero if they do, that is a bonus. But if you don the uniform & draw the salary you shouldn’t expect inaction to be excusable after 17 kids are killed – when fewer may have been if you had acted. A society which loses the ability to make judgments of this kind is not long for this world.

  126. catherine says:

    I have been thinking about the school shootings problem and maybe the solution is to hire, train and arm some mothers of children attending the school and have them do guard duty. Speaking for myself if I had a child in that school and heard gun shots I would have run in naked if I had to find my child or the shooter.

  127. Eric Newhill says:

    I said several comments ago that I was going to drop this off-topic discussion and here I am continuing to comment. Now I feel like an ass, but I’m doing it anyhow.
    I was making a very specific point; that it is not so very difficult to petition someone showing the behaviors and thinking that Cruz was, into involuntary commitment. Your example demonstrated that.
    Yes, in your example there were no beds available and, per the law, if no beds available within a certain time period, the person in question must be released. That is a separate issue and I will repeat that it is not relevant to the Cruz situation. Cruz was not an acute decompensation. It was an chronic/ongoing illness. Surely there would have been a bed available at some point during the span of months leading up to the shooting. What we do know is that no one even attempted to petition him to court ordered treatment. That is a failure of the liberal Broward Co.
    Babak, Steve and NancyK also deliberately miss the key point. Steve even admitted that he had participated in “hundreds” of court ordering processes. I believe that because lots of people are court ordered to treatment as I said they can be.
    I’ll say it again – no one tried to court order Cruz. Ok? Had they tried and there were no beds, then your example might be relevant.
    The court ordering process exist like I said it does and it is effective. I’ve seen it in action countless times.

  128. Croesus says:

    It’s your site, Col. Lang, but they’re my words and you are twisting them. I did not write anything close to “the madman was unhappy.” Were I to express an opinion on the psych status of the madman, I’d say it is contrived, even scripted: “he cut up small animals??” Doesn’t much of that transcript, added to other reports of online messages, strike you as something a second-rate screenwriter would compile? It’s almost as absurd as the Iranian plot to kill the Saudi poodle.
    I believe there is a much larger “conspiracy” in place in Parkland, and that the madman was a well-chosen tool of the conspirators.
    I believe the “conspirators” considered the “dead kids” an acceptable “price to pay,” (h/t M. Albright). You know, and I am learning, that there are people in this world, and in this United States, who are that evil.
    I don’t know who these conspirators are or what their agenda is, but I think it’s extremely important to expose the scheme and its perpetrators. The fact that so many people displayed cowardly and dishonorable, and even unnatural, behavior, is, to my way of thinking, a gigantic clue that should absorb more of our attention.

  129. robt willmann says:

    It would be useful to hear and see the unedited communications of and to the four sheriff’s deputies / people with a law enforcement commission who were at the school and did not try to intervene in the incident, starting some reasonable time before it started to a long time after it had concluded. Of course, all of the communications of the law enforcement agencies involved should be scrutinized, along with the additional standard tangible evidence such as video from any cameras, audio, basic trauma forensics, blood spatter evidence, ballistics, chemical residue, and so forth. The mass media does not seem to be interested in such things, even though they are some of the closest things to objective facts as there can be.
    Unfortunately, the game is narrative first, evidence and analysis second, if at all.

  130. turcopolier says:

    When Cruz fired the first shot in the school he became nothing more than a menace to society and undeserving of sympathy. Your convoluted desire to find some sort of conspiracy in this incident is baffling. pl

  131. Croesus says:

    PS — ah, I see: I wrote that Cruz was treated sympathetically. I state vehemently that Cruz deserves NO sympathy — just as Grynszpan did not, but I believe itt to be the case that he is being treated with utmost sympathy — as was Grynszpan: the media as well as police who ensured his safety when he was taken into custody; public defender Howard Finkelstein who said, ““This is an opportunity to put the criminal case behind and help the victims’ families begin to try and pick up pieces of their lives for our community to heal . . .;” his attorney who wrapped an arm around him as she pleaded his “brokeness;” — did the shooters in LasVegas or Paris enjoy such tender mercies? No they did not; they’re dead. Why is Cruz being carried around on a velvet pillow, hmmm? Somebody wants him protected: Who, and Why?

  132. turcopolier says:

    I suppose you are familiar with the concept of due process. It sounds like you think the police should have shot him when he was apprehended or that he should be lynched now. pl

  133. Croesus says:

    No, I’m afraid I have not read the accounts of those who died to protect the children.
    And yes, I do think there are larger forces at work: the four guards who stood down raised that flag: Cruz pulled the trigger, but there were a lot of elements that worked to make it possible or easier for him to do so, and, more compellingly, who protected him and are protecting him now in the aftermath of his outrageous crimes.
    Other shooters in similar events ended up dead, after leaving evidence of their identities and motivations in plain sight. Why is it that Cruz not only did not end up dead, but is enjoying protection?
    I think that’s an extremely important question.
    Furthermore, the background on Cruz is so over-the-top that it borders on absurd. That should raise flags also. I think something stinks to high heaven about shooter Cruz and the people who made his killing spree possible, and I think “outrage at cowardice” is taking up too much emotional energy that would be better spent on finding out what larger forces are behind this twerp monster.

  134. Croesus says:

    Please tell me you don’t live anywhere near my grandchildren. That’s a nutso idea.

  135. Croesus says:

    Others have been shot rather than apprehended. This dude’s being coddled, although, now that it’s known he has wealth, he may lose the protective sympathy of his public defender.

  136. Croesus,
    “Others have been shot rather than apprehended.”
    The Aurora, Colorado theater shooter and the Charleston, South Carolina church shooter were both captured alive and kept alive. The cops even bought the Charleston shooter a cheeseburger on the way to jail. How does your conspiracy theory take those two into account? Once a suspect is in state custody, the state’s responsibility is to protect them and see that they face justice in court. It’s that simple.

  137. fanto says:

    a hypothetical question: what would all four armed guards do if the shooter happened to be a black male? Just thinking.

  138. optimax says:

    Coach Aaron Fies would have been a man to have had a gun. He would have had a chance and so would many of the kids if policy had allowed.
    The SRO was issued a weapon and assigned to the school to protect the kids. He did not perform his sworn duty and chickened out.
    Croesus, you think it conspiracy. That all four officers waiting outside as the Coral Police ran inside were ordered to not confront an active shooting. Even if that’s true the right thing to do would be to enter the building and confront the shooter. You can’t let policy, laws or authority of any kind keep you from doing the right thing. In that case they are still cowards.
    If we guarded out schools the way we do our office buildings schools would be much safer. Only one entrance open in the morning where kids have identity cards they have to show to the guards. Cameras at all doors and hallways with a guard watching the monitors by the front door to buzz those permitted into the school.

  139. optimax says:

    Forgot a word: “Coach Aaron Fies would have been a (good) man to have a gun.

  140. turcopolier says:

    What difference would it make? None. pl

  141. Barbara Ann says:

    This world would be a much better place if more were afflicted with such blindness.

    Deep commitment to honor & courage is what makes men great & thus societies great & worth living in. The fact that the military is increasingly a last redoubt of this moral code is lamentable. If this is blindness then pluck out my eyes.
    The day we start excusing behavior like this as acceptable – “but what about Peterson’s feelings” type of snowflakery – we are doomed.

  142. Croesus says:

    and BarbaraAnn @ 137: Novelist Lisa Scottoline explored the implications of being a mother/volunteer charged with the safety of children, her own included, in Save Me.
    Useful précis here:

  143. turcopolier says:

    Yup. Us lamentable deplorables are still here, somewhere. pl

  144. jpb says:

    IMO—its too early to dismiss the possibility of “conspiracy” in the Parkland School shooting. I listened to the interview with high school teacher Stacy Lippel, who says she saw the gunman dressed in full body armor shooting the students in Parkland High School.
    Considering the questions surrounding the deputy “stand down” and the history of false flags used to initiate hasty policy changes as no crisis is allow to past unused by “conspirators”; it is time for a criminal investigation of the school shooting, before public hysteria is used to end or limit American’s Second Amendment right to bare arms.

  145. turcopolier says:

    Ah, you think this wa a provocation on the part of the gun control people. Well, I think that notion is pretty farfetched. pl

  146. jpb says:

    I am examining evidence and possible motive. I am not making conclusions.

  147. John Minnerath says:

    No where, in any of the reporting from any sources is there a mention that the shooter, Cruz, was dressed in any sort of tactical or police type gear.
    The source for that link is highly suspect.

  148. jpb says:

    Stacey Lippel was interviewed on ABC News Good Morning America. She said she saw the shooter in full tactical gear. I will defer to your conclusion that ABC news is “highly suspect”, or perhaps you mean Stacey Lippel’s eyewitness account is “highly suspect”. It certainly contradicts the “official narrative” that the deranged teenage Cruz is the lone gunman.

  149. John Minnerath says:

    Strange comments indeed from that teacher, especially given the fact that something like that hasn’t been brought up by anyone else.
    I did read a comment somewhere that the shooter went into the school carrying a long dark bag and a duffel bag.
    So did he have some tactical gear with him? The stuff is easy to get.Could he have stripped it off and then slipped out with the other exiting students?
    Maybe answers to such questions will finally come to light.

  150. John Minnerath says:

    It seems to me the Sheriff is obfuscating the events to cover his ass.
    And in the process a lot of facts are not coming out.

  151. Keith Harbaugh says:

    1. The issue of how Broward County and its southern neighbor Miami-Dade have, as a matter of policy and practice,
    dealt over the years with the issues this shooting raised is discussed at length in
    To get the gist, here is a brief excerpt from the first reference:

    In 2012 and 2013 while doing research into the Trayvon Martin shooting we discovered an alarming set of school policies being enacted in Miami-Dade and Broward County Florida.
    The policies were called “diversionary programs” and were essentially about stopping High School students from being arrested. Law enforcement was instructed to avoid arrests and defer criminal conduct to school administrators.

    The reference goes on to discuss the background of Trayvon Martin at great length,
    asserting many things about him as facts which have certainly not been covered in the MSM.
    2. A personal comment: I really find the Washington Post to be a cesspool of PC thought.
    What brings that up is the following WaPo article on the BCSO deputy Scot Peterson:
    Consider the point of view in the following excerpt from the article:

    [Ellen Kirschman, a clinical psychologist,] said she is especially concerned because Peterson has resigned. “I don’t know what kind of support or counseling he’ll get since he resigned. I don’t know what happens to his medical benefits,” she said. “He needs counseling with someone who knows police work. His family will need support.”
    Officers involved in controversial shootings often experience a sense of betrayal, she said. “The betrayal makes the experience much harder.
    You feel betrayed by the community you risked your life to protect.
    Betrayed by your own friends in the department.
    Betrayed by the administration that’s throwing you under the bus,”

    Kirschman said.
    “The funny thing about police departments is that when you’re recruited, police are told, ‘We have your back.’ ‘The family in blue’ and all that,” she said. “But in high-attention situations like this, you see departments quickly turn against their own officers when they need support most.”

    What, in my view, is sick is that this clinical psychologist seems to not understand just who betrayed whom in Parkland.
    That “having your back” applies when you act with honor and integrity,
    not when you betray your oath of office.
    Several commentators to this post have stated they have background in psychiatry.
    Can they explain Kirschman’s comments?

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