Broward County Sheriff Releases Video Of Deputy's Inaction during Parkland Shooting

Cleveland High School students
Cleveland High School students

17 March, 2018

Video of what happened inside the school is not being released.

Sheriff Scott Israel said that the video showed the deputy doing "nothing" as the gunman killed 14 students and three educators.

The police radio recordings showed that the Coral Springs police officers were the first to enter the school building after confirming that Broward County Sheriff's Office deputies had not gone in. Because of that, he said, he "took up a tactical position" to try to assess the situation.

Calls to Peterson's attorney for comment on the release of the new video haven't been returned. When the fire alarm is triggered - apparently by the smoke of the gunfire - the two begin running, get into a golf cart and speed toward Building 12. It was not immediately clear if the officer seen in the video is Peterson.

Peterson also told other law enforcement officers who raced to the school to stay outside.

The video shows Peterson standing near the entrance to the building.

In a statement along with the video release, Broward Sheriff's officials said they "welcomed" the court's decision to release the video. "His actions were enough to warrant an internal affairs investigation, as requested by Sheriff Scott Israel on February 21".

Peterson was suspended and then resigned his post, and in a statement released by his lawyer said that he thought the gunfire originated from outside and reacted accordingly by waiting for the suspect there. "In accordance with Florida law, we are prohibited from discussing any other details of the IA investigation until the case has concluded".

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A judge granted that request, and neither the school district nor the Broward County Sheriff's Office appealed the ruling. Its release comes as the sheriff's office has faced intense scrutiny for its response to the February 14 shooting as well as how its deputies acted before and after the massacre.

The deputy failed to confront the gunman during the six-minute rampage, the video time stamps show, confirming the account of other law enforcement officers who raised questions about the response by the sheriff's office nearly immediately after the shooting. A state panel approved by lawmakers is also going to review the law enforcement response to the shooting and prior contacts that officials had with the suspected gunman, who had repeatedly come to the attention of police and the Federal Bureau of Investigation before the massacre.

The BSO last week released a detailed timeline of events based on 911 calls and dispatch communications that were made during the shooting.

But Peterson's own radio transmissions suggest he had focused on the 1200 building, where the killings took place, according to the Sheriff's Office. The shooting lasted about six minutes, Israel said.

The 27 minutes of footage released today does not show inside the buildings, the gunman or the faces of any students.

Attorneys for the school board argued that the release of the video could compromise the school's security system, but Levenson ruled that "the potential harm to the current security system, at best, is outweighed by the strong public interest in disclosure". The sheriff's office, meanwhile, ultimately reversed course and said it supported making the footage public.

The suspected shooter, Nikolas Cruz, a former student, allegedly fled with students after the shooting, and later was apprehended.

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