Four years ago, on February 14, 2018, America suffered another school attack, the attack at Parkland, FL. From the first to last shot, only 5:54 elapsed, and the first police officers didn’t enter the building–one of 13 on a campus of some 3000 students–until 11:04 after the first shot. By then, the killer was long gone. As usual in such attacks, the police had no role in deterring or stopping the killer.
I last wrote on this case on January 23, 2019 in Parkland Florida, Evil Again 10: Time Line. It’s time, once again, to catch up on the events relating to that case since then. The SMM Parkland archive is here. We begin in more or less chronological order with this from the Sun-Sentinel.com:
A sheriff’s sergeant who was fired for sitting in his car and failing to react while a gunman slaughtered students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will get his job back.
An arbitrator has dismissed the case against Brian Miller. According to a statement from the union that represents deputies and sergeants, the arbitrator found that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office violated Miller’s due process rights when Sheriff Gregory Tony terminated him long after state law allowed it.
Miller was fired in June, 16 months after former student Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded 17 more with an AR-15 rifle on Feb. 14, 2018.
Miller will receive considerable money when reinstated. He was paid more than $137,000 in 2018. That includes a year’s salary, any overtime that he would have received, as well as medical reimbursements, paid holidays and time off.
Cruz’s rampage exposed widespread failures at the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy assigned to the school, Scot Peterson, was charged with multiple counts of child neglect. Peterson was widely criticized for taking cover outside the school while Cruz was gunning down people inside.
I’ll not dwell on this situation other than to note after providing a comprehensive timeline in Update 10, I’m more willing to give the officers involved the benefit of the doubt. In Miller’s case, he was reinstated because the new Sheriff did not follow the law. In the aftermath of Parkland, there was, as is common, a rush to assign blame. Miller was one of the victims of that unfortunate tendency.
We should remember the Superintendent of Schools, Robert Runcie, was/is an Obama apostle, and as such, he implemented “restorative justice” discipline, which means kids like the shooter are virtually never prosecuted for serious crimes or disciplined in any effective way, particularly if they are black, or like Cruz, Hispanic. In this case, not only did the school know about Cruz’s dangerous nature, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office did, the FBI did, and all dropped the ball.
Yes, every officer present, as soon as they could figure out which of 13 buildings was under attack, should have immediately entered and hunted down the shooter. Unfortunately, most did not and could not figure that out, and the video in the enormous, three story building, was on a 20 minute delay(!), which none of the officers responding to the attack knew until long after the shooter escaped. Even if the very few officers in a position to enter did as soon as they could, only 5:54 elapsed from the first to the last shot, which means officers likely only had, at most, a four-minute time frame to find the shooter and intervene. Considering the size of the building, it’s unlikely they could have saved a single life in that time.
Rich Logis, at The American Thinker, provides additional background:
Show me who’s in charge, and I’ll show you the likely outcomes. In 2018 and presently:
Who lives in Broward? Majority Democrats.
Who lives in Parkland? Majority Democrats.
Who’s on the Broward school board? Majority Democrats.
Who works in the district? Majority Democrats.
What was the background of Robert Runcie, superintendent of the Broward County Public Schools? Chicago Democrat.
Broward’s PROMISE policy of lax disciplinary standards for troubled students —which the murderer was, for years — was from Barack Obama, a Democrat.
Who runs the Broward County Sheriff’s Office? Democrats.
Who’s Parkland’s state senator? A Democrat.
Who’s Parkland’s state House rep? A Democrat.
Who’s Parkland’s U.S. rep.? A Democrat.
Who received a majority of the vote — Trump or Clinton — in Parkland in 2016? The Democrat.
Who received a majority of the vote for U.S. Senate in Parkland in 2018? The Democrat.
Who received a majority of the vote for governor in Parkland in 2018? The Democrat.
Who received a majority of the vote — Trump or Biden — in Parkland? The Democrat.
All Democrat majorities are malignant — no exceptions — and produce kids who kill other kids.
The fruits of D/S/C policies:
Starting in middle school, the murderer was suspended at least 67 days in 18 months. He was then sent to another district school, and then to Stoneman Douglas; in 2015, while at Douglas, a district assessment claimed that the murderer could be a future ‘model student.’
In January 2016, the Broward Sheriff’s Office got a tip that the killer — then in 10th grade — had posted on Instagram that he planned to shoot up a school. By the end of the next month, the murderer was suspended after he carved swastikas into a lunch table and scrawled ‘I hate n——‘ on his backpack. In 2017 (about a year before the mass murders), the district was again made aware of the murderer’s desire to commit a school mass shooting. There are many, many more published reports about his obsessively violent mental state and academic struggles.
Parkland was a perfect storm of collective failure: the FBI admitted it failed to investigate the murderer; Obama educational standards (entitled PROMISE: Preventing Recidivism through Opportunities, Mentoring, Intervention, Support, and Education), enacted without Congress’s approval and designed to reduce minorities’ encounters with law enforcement, peddled lax disciplinary standards for troubled students (the killer, at one time, had been in the PROMISE program); and not only did the Broward sheriff’s deputies fail to act on several tips about the killer’s violent tendencies, but they also failed to act on the day of the massacre.
Patrick Richardson at Bearing Arms notes Temporary President Biden, on the third anniversary of Parkland, used the occasion to push gun control measures that would have had no effect on that attack, or any other known school attack.
While in the Broward County Jail, Cruz attacked a sheriff’s deputy.
Cruz eventually pled guilty to 17 murders and his sentencing trial is set to begin on April 4, 2022. Prosecutors, amazingly in this day and age, are seeking the death penalty. In October of 2021, the families of Parkland victims settled their lawsuit with the School District for $25 million dollars.
In November of 2021, the FBI agreed to pay the Parkland families a reported $127.5 million dollars.
Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow died in the shooting, commended the FBI for accepting responsibility for its inaction, comparing it to the Broward County school district and sheriff’s office, the school security staff and the psychologists who treated the shooter. He believes they all failed to stop the shooter and have ducked responsibility.[skip]
‘The FBI has made changes to make sure this never happens again,’ Pollack said.
To be fair, the FBI is very busy covering up its involvement in the Russia hoax, investigating the worst attack on America since Pearl Harbor, and investigating Americans who don’t appreciate Marxist indoctrination of their children in schools, and other Americans who aren’t fond of the current government.
While I commend Pollack, who did not reflexively leap on the gun control bandwagon, I very much doubt any such changes have been made or will be made, certainly not under the Garland DOJ and the “leadership” of FBI Director Wray.
I’ll have more information on the trial of former Deputy Scot Peterson, a school resource officer at Parkland, in the not too distant future. For now, Brietbart reports on Temporary President Biden’s response for the fourth anniversary of the attack:
President Joe Biden (D) marked the fourth anniversary of the Parkland high school attack with a push to sue gun makers, on Valentine’s Day.
The UK Independent reports that Biden also called for more ‘background checks,’ although the Parkland attacker acquired his firearm via a background check. (The Sun-Sentinel noted that the attack[er] passed a background check, ‘including mental health question,’ to get his gun.)
Biden also called for an ‘assault weapon’ and ‘high capacity’ magazine ban.
Again, nothing Biden is advocating would have had the slightest effect on the Parkland attack. None of the measures would have deterred or prevented the attack or saved a single life.
Final Thoughts: Consider these observations from Update 10 in this series. Contemporary updates are bold:
*Initial 911 notification of the police always takes time. Gunshots heard in one part of a school building go unheard, and/or unrecognized as gunfire, elsewhere. This is particularly true of a three story classroom building. By the time the police are notified, many are wounded or killed. In this case, by the time of the 911 call, six were dead and six wounded, and it would take about 10 additional minutes before officers entered the building.
Remember this is a 13 building campus, there was substantial confusion about what was happening and where, there were considerable police radio issues, most of which were of long standing, and surveillance video in the involved building was on a 20 minute delay, a tragic fact not known to responding officers until long after that knowledge would have done the slightest good.
*911 notification never contains the information the police need to rapidly locate and stop a shooter. Generally, only the location and the presence of gunshots is communicated. A general portion of the building might be available, but if anything more specific is provided, such as “Mrs. Smith saw him near room 1518,” by the time officers get that information, it’s outdated, even dangerously wrong.
In this case, officers had no specific information in time to do anything effective.
*Any information relayed through a police dispatcher to officers is always minutes out of date. In school shootings seconds are minutes and minutes are hours.
And 20 minute out of date video is worse than useless.
*Mere arrival on the scene of a shooting is only marginally relevant. Officers must still—as in the case of MSDHS—find, in 13 separate buildings, where the killer is—which usually means, where they might be.
*Even if there is a single building involved, officers virtually never have any idea of the interior layout of schools, which can be akin to mazes. It will always take them time to locate and engage the killer, which they virtually never do.
*The old saying is particularly true in school attacks: “When seconds matter, the police are minutes away.” Seconds mean wounded or dead.
*A single story school building is bad enough. A three-story building is a nightmare for the police—and the inhabitants.
*As is virtually always the case, the police had no role in stopping the attack.
*Police response was too late to save any lives, or to capture the suspect on the scene. Most school attackers kill themselves long before the police can arrive.
*Contemporary police training requires the first officer on the scene, and every officer, to immediately enter, engage and neutralize any threat. Such training is of no value if officers, as in this case, don’t heed it.
Or can’t heed it because of the aforementioned issues.
*Contemporary “Run, hide, lockdown” response strategy is ineffective. In this case, some were wounded or killed when Cruz fired through the windows of locked classroom doors. This does not mean people shouldn’t do these things. However, if this is the whole of their defense strategy, people are going to die.
*Cruz choose not to breach classroom doors, but if he had—it’s easy—the death toll would be much, much higher.
*Anti-liberty/gun activists will surely cry, as they always have, that the death toll could have been greatly reduced if the shooter had smaller capacity magazines. This is nonsense. Magazine changes take only a few seconds. Smaller capacity magazines would have made no difference in this case, or in any other.
I’ll continue to report and comment on this case as developments warrant.