Parkland school shooting is your government at rest
By Michael R. Shannon
During his nationwide ‘Don’t Blame Me’ Tour, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel told the Miami Herald he was unable to arrest the Parkland school shooter prior to the attack because “his deputies were legally ‘handcuffed.’”
Sheriff Fife should know, since he personally bought the handcuffs.
It’s becoming obvious as the investigation continues that rather than a random killing spree, the death toll is collateral damage resulting from Democrat efforts to introduce protected categories into the criminal justice system by ending the ‘school to prison pipeline.’
Instead of the NRA with blood on its hands, we find Broward County School Superintendent Robert Runcie and Sheriff Israel directly responsible for the death of 17 innocents.
Real Clear Investigations reports in 2013 — the year before the shooter entered high school — the Sheriff of Noddingham voluntarily signed a “collaborative agreement on school discipline.” This preemptive amnesty listed a series of misdemeanors that would no longer result in arrest.
The freebie offenses included vandalism, disorderly conduct, fighting, trespassing, criminal mischief, harassment, threats, alcohol infractions and possession of drug paraphernalia — all violations common to future valedictorians.
The overarching goal was to reduce the number of juvenile arrests. To make sure that happened, deputies were advised, “Emergency and other situations may arise that require the immediate involvement of law enforcement. In such instances, school officials and law enforcement should confer after the situation has been diffused...to ensure the most effective and least punitive means of discipline is being employed.” (my emphasis)
With the stroke of a pen deputies who formerly represented law enforcement, now represented selective enforcement.
Currently approximately 150 school systems nationwide — including many of the largest in the US — are operating under these avoid–arrest–at–all–cost rules. And not one of the sheriffs, police chiefs, school superintendents, or elected officials told voters an important part of their plan for the next term will be not arresting the bullies who steal your child’s lunch money.
Instead many of the victims will be sitting beside the victimizers to work out a ‘restorative justice’ solution. It’s almost as if a secondary goal of the program was to intimidate witnesses. If you see something, say nothing.
How does that happen? Where do public officials gain this authority to start not enforcing the law? We don’t get to choose which laws to obey, where do these petty tyrants get the idea they have the right to pick and choose the laws to enforce?
Sheriff Israel crowed, “We’re changing the culture, and what we’re doing is we are gonna make obsolete the term ‘zero tolerance.’” The sheriff also made the term ‘competent’ obsolete when used in connection with his department.
Law enforcement officers as a rule consider juvenile arrests to be a big pain in the behind. Juvie collars take more time, involve more rules and require reams of paperwork. Add that to a signed agreement by the sheriff that actively discourages arrest and officers who want to stay in good graces with Israel won’t be bucking the system by arresting students.
Sheriff Israel’s lax enforcement edict worked like a charm. The Boston Globe found in the year just prior to Israel’s emancipation proclamation the sheriff’s department recorded 1,056 school–based arrests. By the 2015–16 school year the number had plunged 63 percent.
The shooter’s repeated infractions were part of the non–enforcement regime.
Gun laws currently on the books would have been enough to prevent the shooter from buying a rifle in February 2017 had he been arrested and prosecuted even once.
The multiple murderer was reported to have said he “planned to shoot up the school.” That’s enough to get either an arrest or an investigation in most jurisdictions. In Broward the information was turned over to school resource officer Dep. Scot ‘Take Cover’ Peterson. Acting as judge, jury and exonerator, Peterson did nothing, which in his case is beginning to sound like a trend.
The shooter assaulted students twice with no arrest. Made repeated threats with no arrest. And threated to kill people with no arrest. Proving Sheriff Israel really knows how to make a ‘no arrest’ policy stick.
The department’s repeated failure to take the shooter to court meant there was no record in the NCIC system regarding his past run–ins with the law. Since he was a blank slate the shooter didn’t even get swept into the FBI’s ‘catch and release’ anti–terrorism program after the Bureau fielded a tip.
The sheriff department’s turn–your–child’s–other–cheek policy came to fruition when the gunfire broke out.
The fact is the country doesn’t need “sensible gun laws” or rifle bans. There were plenty of laws on the books that would have stopped this latest school shooting before it began.
Sheriff Israel just decided public relations and ‘social justice’ was more important than children’s lives.
Michael R. Shannon is a public relations and advertising consultant with corporate, government and political experience around the globe. He is a dynamic and entertaining keynote speaker. He can be reached at mandate.mmpr (at) gmail.com. He is also the author of Conservative Christian's Guidebook for Living in Secular Times (Now with added humor!).