Police in Schools

When Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Was Accused of Corruption, He Responded: 'Lions Don't Care About the Opinions of Sheep'

Israel reportedly hired his political supporters to do outreach for the police.


Scott Israel
Michael Laughlin/ZUMA Press/Newscom

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel—the man whose agency failed to prevent the Parkland massacre despite having received a tip last November that Nikolas Cruz was plotting a mass shooting—has been accused of public corruption.

Two years ago, the Sun Sentinel reported that Israel was rewarding top political supporters by giving them and their family members cushy jobs doing public relations and community outreach for the Broward County Sheriff's Office. One such position, outreach manager, paid out a salary of $78,489. The person who got that job was the husband of Israel's campaign manager.

Israel had been a Republican but ran for office as a Democrat. He was first elected sheriff in 2012, then re-elected in 2016. According to the Sun Sentinel:

The outreach workers, who mainly attend community events, are in addition to political activists and others Israel hired into community affairs roles, writing and designing printed pieces about the agency, and sharing it on social media. The employee log shows six hired into community affairs roles, their salaries totaling $388,729.

Israel's opponents say he's built a publicly funded political machine, paying back supporters with jobs and using them to keep him in office. They say the money could be better spent, particularly after the sheriff complained about not having enough funding to secure the county courthouse, where a murder suspect recently escaped.

Asked about the allegations, Israel responded, "What have I done differently than Don Shula or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Gandhi?"

He also said, "Lions don't care about the opinions of sheep." That's a paraphrase of a quote from the Game of Thrones character Tywin Lannister, a villainous public administrator known for promoting his family's interests ahead of the government's or the people's.

Were the employees hired to work at the Sheriff's Office competent? It certainly seems like a relevant question now that we know the authorities were forewarned about the dangers posed by Cruz. The office received at least 18 calls about Cruz's disturbing behavior and possession of weapons from 2008 to 2017. BuzzFeed has obtained records related to those calls. The most recent one, made on November 30, 2017, described Cruz as a "school shooter in the making." Broward County referred the matter to the Palm Beach Sheriff's Office but took no further action—even though a relative of Cruz had warned Broward County about Cruz's stash of weapons just three days before.

This news follows the resignation of Marjory Stoneman Douglas School Resource Officer Scot Peterson, who refused to engage the killer while the rampage was underway. Israel suspended Peterson after watching video footage of the SRO's behavior, saying that it made him "sick to my stomach."

Given the appalling failures that took place at Israel's office, the "sheep" might like to ask the "lion" some questions. Perhaps he could answer them in a less condescending and authoritarian fashion.

NEXT: A High School Student Faces Expulsion for Noticing the Square Root Symbol Looks Like a Gun

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  1. He also said, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”

    This is a pretty apt summary of how the worst of our leaders view themselves.

    1. Probably in the best case they merely view themselves as shepherds rather than predators.

      1. But lionesses do most of the hunting, so maybe the sheriff is just saying he’s super duper lazy.

        1. Lazy AND doesn’t care about the opinions of “sheep.”

          1. I’m making over $7k a month working part time. I kept hearing other people tell me how much money they can make online so I decided to look into it. Well, it was all true and has totally changed my life.

            This is what I do… http://www.onlinecareer10.com

        2. What of this is inconsistent with what we know about government?

          1. None of it.

      2. Shepherds are just predators playing the long game.

        1. In Catholic school I was never appreciated for bring up this point. Just as well I went rogue, they’d have probably kicked me out of the church sooner or later.

          1. And if you’d actually gone to Catholic school, you would have learned that people don’t get kicked out of the Church these days.

            1. They still burn them at the stakes?

            2. Excommunication numbers might be down, but I’m reasonably sure it’s still a thing that exists.

              1. Getting married to somebody not in the church without permission is an automatic excommunication. And that’s common in the US, between Hispanic immigrants and the rest of the population. It just doesn’t matter for normal people.

                1. Nah, only if it’s a ceremony in another religious sect. If it’s by a judge, it’s just a mortal sin. Either way, you’re going to hell, according to them anyway.

              2. Not if you’re a priest (or a secretary to the Pope’s right hand Cardinal) that likes to fuck little boys.

      3. until I saw the paycheck of $8554 I did not believe tha.my friend was like actualy bringing in money in there spare time at their computer there brothers friend has been doing this for only about 23 months and at present repaid the morgage on their home and got themselves a Mitsubishi Evo read this article


    2. Progressives have worked hard to establish government run Progressive Plantations with Elitist Masters and Uncle Tom Overseers (aka Lions) controlling the Proletariat Serfs (aka sheep or sheeple)!

  2. Haha, lots of people quoting Game of Thrones without really understanding the context.

    1. I take it the context is that George R.R. Martin is hoping for the sweet warm moist embrace of death so he doesn’t have to come up with an ending?

      1. That motherfucker’s already got his solid gold sarcophagus ready to go, he’s just got to decide which of his servants will get sealed in the pyramid to accompany him into the afterlife.

        1. Well, he lives in Santa Fe, so less Pyramid and more Colorful adobe house.

      2. The bad guys win and the world is dark and frozen forever. The End.

        1. I thought the bad guys were a crazy, murderous king and the greedy, warmongering lords and ladies vying for succession. Did we read the same books?

          1. The bad guys are ice monsters. The evil humans are merely annoying

            1. Perhaps not. Preston Jacobs thinks the White Walkers are the agents of revenge for the Children of the Forest whose land the humans stole.

            2. “The bad guys are ice monsters. The evil humans are merely annoying”

              Maybe, but what kind of fiscal policy do the ice monsters favor?

  3. Asked about the allegations, Israel responded, “What have I done differently than Don Shula or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Ghandi?”

    I like the implication that this is the order he’d list if asked to rank great leaders.

    He also said, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”

    More refreshing honesty from a public official!

    1. Now if we could only be refreshingly honest with ourselves and answer his question. /:|

    2. Yup. I would rather them be brutally honest.

  4. Y’all misspelled Gandhi. It’s Gandhi, not Ghandi.

    Source: a cursory google search.

    1. Maybe the sheriff said it wrong…

      1. Then Robby should have included [sic] afterwards (or whatever the equivalent is for spoken word). Don’t let him off the hook.

    2. Fruit Sushi’s don’t care about the opinions of red Tony’s

  5. The way I heard it is that the school district was having funding issues related to too much crime being committed by students, so the police ‘solved’ the problem by not making arrests. Those schools were evidently Thunderdome before the shooting because of deliberate police apathy.

    The Story Of The Deputy Who Stood Outside The School Shooting Keeps Getting Worse

    1. “What have I done differently than Don Shula or Abraham Lincoln or Martin Luther King, Ghandi?”

      Shula: You’ve never won a Super Bowl. Or lost a Super Bowl. Or drafted Dan Marino. Or found an alligator in your shower (probably).

      Lincoln: You’ve never made out with Cleopatra. Or won the presidency for a party that had never put anybody in presidential office before. Or fired several generals until you found one with the guts to do what was necessary instead of what was honorable.

      King: I doubt you’ve ever fathered a great civil rights leader who would later be blackmailed by the FBI. I could be wrong, though.

      Gandhi: Buddy, you’ve never skipped a meal in your life. Maybe lose a little weight there, eh, porky?

      1. Well this got posted in the wrong place.

      2. The placement of the comma at the end makes me think he was calling the interviewer Gandhi, as if to say he’s not some pussy pacifist.

        1. Or maybe the interviewer was ethnically subcontinental, and Gandhi was the only famous Indian Israel could think of in the moment. If he hadn’t blanked on Apu, it would have turned out differently.

          1. No love for Hadji apparently.

      3. +1 (generation) for the King quote.

    2. Broward to dramatically change student discipline policies
      …Broward County had the state’s highest number of school-related arrests for 2011-12, according to the Department of Juvenile Justice.

      “That’s a call to action for us,” said Amalio Nieves, curriculum supervisor for diversity, culture and outreach prevention….

      Broward schools see drop in student arrests
      Just two years ago, Broward County schools funneled the state’s highest number of students into the juvenile justice system, often hauling them away in handcuffs for minor infractions.

      But the district this year dramatically altered its discipline policies and launched an intervention program to reduce the number of arrests for non-violent offenses. It’s already seeing results.

      The number of students arrested for misdemeanor incidents from August to September dropped to 22 students from 54 in the same period last year, district figures show.

      “We need to give students an opportunity if they make mistakes,” Superintendent Robert Runcie said….

      1. Interesting how when you decide not to arrest people for breaking the law, the number of arrests drop.

    3. this is really the bigger corruption story that is going to come out between the school district and sheriffs dept. circa 2010 for political reasons and financial incentives they stopped arresting kids who had committed crimes. in the first semester of this new policy there was a 60% drop in arrests of students in the county. initially they just ignored misdemeanors which turned into ignoring everything including violent crime. this is why the sheriffs dept didn’t act when it received repeated warnings from people who knew cruz that he was capable of violence. doesn’t it seem odd the security footage was on a 30 minute delay? again this is by design it’s easier to erase footage and cover up crimes committed on campus if there is a delay. scott israel , scot peterson (the coward deputy) and the superintendent (Robert W. Runcie) all need to be criminally prosecuted. it was their negligence and incompetence that led to this shooting.

      the blog/twitter account the last refuge has more details.

      1. That’s being conspiratorial. It’s less likely that there’s any active attempt at cover-ups and just a general policy of apathy creeping in. When your policy is to avoid doing stuff that’s actually your job, you start finding more and more reasons to not do anything. It’s apathetic inertia-I ignored THAT, I guess I can just ignore THIS also.

        Which goes to show what a dumb idea it is to have officers stationed in schools-they actually don’t have enough stuff to do, so they’re conditioned into doing nothing even in the rare case it’s time to do something.

        1. sorry but there is a lot of evidence that supports this as official policy and not some mere conspiracy theory. i have full confidence this will come out in the wrongful death lawsuits.

          1. So, passive-aggressive, like my theory about the handling of the square root kid this AM?

            1. “Above my pay grade!”

        2. If dropping the reported crime rate gets the department praise & funding, and the sheriff reelected?

        3. 99.9% of his time is spent sitting around doing nothing. Doing nothing is basicly his job description. So when it came time for him to do something, he did what he had been conditioned to do, nothing.
          Just another epic fail by a government agency. They’re so common it’s cliche.

        4. Not conspiracy. Schools and PDs have routinely cooked books to gain funding. Changing standards for special needs student to increase numbers to obtain additional funding(often against parents wishes.) for example. This sounds like another case of the same.

  6. The most recent one, made on November 30, 2017, described Cruz as a “school shooter in the making.”

    Man, that is not the kind of thing anyone wants to say “I told you so” about.

  7. Given the appalling failures that took place at Israel’s office, the “sheep” might like the “lion” some questions.

    You accidentally that whole sentence, Robby.

    1. I think the sheep would like to tow the lion at this point.

  8. This story just keeps getting uglier. At least the voters have a chance to kick this guy out at some point.

    1. Two years from now.

      (He wins reelection.)

      1. So you’re saying there’s a chance?!?!?

        1. A benevolent ruler-king would be in for some hang, draw, and quartering…

      2. Impeachment?

  9. People don’t understand how Broward County School Sheriff Officers operate. I’ll explain.

    10. Initially the police were excusing misdemeanor behaviors. However, it didn’t take long until felonies, even violent felonies (armed robberies, assaults and worse) were being excused.
    11. The need to continue lowering the arrests year-over-year meant that increasingly more severe unlawful behavior had to be ignored. Over time even the most severe of unlawful conduct was being filtered by responding police.

    1. It’s weird when people write numbered blogs on Twitter rather than just writing a blog.

      1. Blog? What are you, 90?

    2. Hamsterdam!

  10. Reversing Broward County’s School-to-Prison Pipeline
    …Broward’s Collaborative Agreement on School Discipline was announced in early November. Instead of suspensions, students can now be referred to the PROMISE program, where they receive counseling for several days and then return to school. A host of non-violent misdemeanors no longer require an arrest, though officers can sometimes override that if they feel it is necessary (“I wanted to make sure deputies always had discretion,” says Scott Israel, Broward County’s sheriff). The school district’s Office of Minority Male Achievement reviews data to ensure that punishments for minor infractions and racial disparities are on the decline….

    1. Obama must be so proud.

  11. He cited a dramatic drop in violent crime during his tenure, and the issuing of thousands of civil citations ? rather than arrests ? for juveniles. Using one of his well-worn sayings, he said “lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep,” and maintained that he doesn’t spend “more than 10 seconds” listening to his opponents’ criticisms.

    The sheep are his critics? Who did he say this to? Did he refute it? Seems like overly brazen even for a county sheriff.

    1. Castle Rock v. Gonzales should be better known. Recently I’ve been plastering links to the same NYTimes article shown in the video. Even if they did have a duty to protect us, the whole scuffle with the knife murderer probably lasted about 10 seconds.

  12. Sheriff of Loserham is really not coming out well at all is he now?

  13. “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”

    That’s rather insulting considering taxpayers fund your existence to do a job you are apparently not cut out for.

    1. If you were surrounded by enemies that want to kill you like Israel is, you’d think differently!!

      /crosses the streams.

      1. You wondered how Broward County could ever become anti-Israel.

    2. Yeah, but many politicians have the same attitude and they keep getting elected.

      Status quo for the ruling class.

    3. While we’re using GOT quotes. “May I tell you a secret? You’re not a golden lion. You’re just a pink little man who’s far too slow on the draw.”

  14. When you think of the number of mass shootings andbombings that the police and fbi were warned about but did nothing a person might think thier failures to not act were on purpose to enfocre an anti gun stance

  15. For those old enough to remember, wasn’t Broward County where a sheriff tried to ban the 2 Live Crew for obscene language, rather than because they sucked?

    Happened back in the early ’90s as I recall.

    1. I remember.

    2. 2 Live Crew for obscene language, rather than because they sucked?

      You ain’t nothing but a hoochie mama.

      1. Me not love you long time.

  16. He also said, “Lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”

    Christ, what an asshole. Although credit where credit is due, at least honest about what an authoritarian douche rocket he is.

  17. Which is why we need well-armed “sheep” to keep the lions honest, or at least nervous.

    1. yeah, so nervous now they’ve taken to shooting the sheep without waiting for an excuse – aka “I was a-scared”.

  18. Elected: 2012;
    Re-elected: 2016;
    Resigned in Disgrace: 2/23/18 (hopefully).

    1. Re-elected by landslide: 2020;

  19. “Tywin Lannister, a villainous public administrator known for promoting his family’s interests ahead of the government’s or the people’s.”

    False. Tywin Lannister administered justly and fairly the Seven Kingdoms for two decades, till the machinations of Little Finger’s series of assassinations put him and his family in danger. Tywinn Lannister was the only true royalty acting in good faith for the prosperity of all. He was, sadly, a failed father, giving birth to three terrible people who played a central role in destroying everything Tywinn had spent his entire life creating.

    1. I think you can still call him a villainous character for some of his manipulations, including ordering the massacre of the Targaryen children and conspiring for the Red Wedding. That’s not to mention the horrible parenting of his youngest son and what he did to Tyrion’s wife, or forcing Sansa Stark into a marriage. By no means would I call him a moral man.

      He still obviously rates lower on the villainy scale than Cersei or someone like Gregor Clegane.

      1. Or that little shit Joffrey

    2. The lion thing? That’s what you say if you’re in a monarchical system and looking to gain liegemen. For a sheriff in a republic it’s disqualifying.

    3. Um no. If you’re referring to Jamie and Cersei’s incestuous offspring, his family put itself in danger. Tywin was a scoundrel who happened to be born into money. His military victory at Kings Landing came via treachery, at Blackwater by Tyrell support, and in the Red Wedding by inducing Frey treachery. Robb Stark routinely outsmarted him militarily for heaven’s sake!

    4. giving birth to three terrible people

      Oh, come on. Tyrion’s early life of drinking and whoring is the libertarian fantasy.

  20. Isn’t Broward County located in one of those “drug corridors” so deputies love stopping people on the interstate and stealing their property?

  21. It’s worse. A few years ago Israel’s department decided they were sending too many kids to jail, so the plan was to stop arresting them.

    It may have been well-meaning at the start, but appears to have grown into a culture of ignoring criminal behavior by teens so that they could brag about how they’d reduced crime rates.


    Take Broward County, the Florida county that used to rank No. 1 at sending students to their state’s juvenile justice system.

    The stats troubled Broward County leaders, and they responded with a bold solution: Lower arrests by not making arrests.

    After examining juvenile data, a local task force compiled 12 misdemeanor offenses that would no longer be considered police matters. Criminal mischief and vandalism, for example.

    The results were quickly positive.

    In 2011-12, Broward County officers made 1,062 school-related arrests. That dropped to 392 in 2015-16, putting the rate of school-related arrests among the lowest in the state.

    School district officials say the strategy allowed schools to respond more constructively to normal teenage behavior, without hurting police ability to respond to serious crime.

    “We’re not compromising school safety. We’re really saving the lives of kids,” said Michaelle Valbrun-Pope, executive director of Student Support Initiatives for Broward County Public Schools.

    article at https://www.publicsource.org

  22. Maybe the public need to figuratively barbecue a few lions by making them unemployed and run out of town broke. The sheep can see how they like the taste of that barbecue. It might be a useful lesson to future lions.

  23. No ethics! No principles!

    Law is essentially “do all you have agreed to do and do not encroach on other persons or their property”

    This puke thinks that rules called “laws” are Law. A sad joke that has come back to bite the people he assumed responsibility to “serve and protect”.

    And the argument is whether people that do obey Law should be able to deal with government (Second Amendment) or others that have no such code.

    Sure, whatever you say.

  24. I seem to remember a movie where something like this happened (a lot of innocent kids killed but police refused to protect them) and some vigilante group (or maybe it was a superhero, not sure) executed the specific police officers who failed to do their taxpayer-funded duty and left a note pinned to them saying “This should not have happened to our children!” Crazy movie…but maybe…things that make you say “hmmm”. I certainly hope our police and government do not abdicate their responsibility and cause that vigilante-ism becomes more pervasive. I’m not sure it would go well…but I have been wrong before.

    1. Say ‘hi’ to the feds for me – – – – – –

  25. So, is this like the two wolves and one sheep who were going to vote on what’s for dinner, until the sheep pulled out his AR15?

  26. Lion? This inept bozo isn’t even a sheep.

    1. I think the word is “rat”.


      1. Pig?

    2. Well you don’t have to be a sheep to fuck sheep.

    3. The most incompetent buffoon with a gun and a badge is a rabid dog.

  27. Someone once said. Democracy is two wolves and a sheep voting on what to have for dinner. Liberty is a well armed sheep contesting the vote.

  28. With all the pressure that this poor public servant must be under, I would like to remind him that there’s no apology more sincere than hara-kiri.


  29. We need to find a way to attract a substantially better class of people — better educated, more tolerant, less authoritarian, with better judgment, training, and accountability — to law enforcement.

    1. And, as you demonstrate daily, to this comment section.

    2. Broward County is one of the most liberal areas of Florida.

  30. So! A corrupt Republican cop runs as a Democrat and gets elected… or was that a looter Democrat cop running as a Republican that got elected?

    1. There is no difference there. The republicrat machine is all 100% corrupt.

  31. Clearly the Broward Sheriff’s Office is sicker than it usually is, which is saying a lot.

    The voters can put a new sheriff in, but “New boss, same as the old boss.”

    Law enforcement (and legislation) is an inherently corrupt business. Nothing short of anarchy could ever change that.

  32. A Lannister always pays his debts.

    1. I liked the Greyjoy saying: “We do not sow.” Basically, fuck you, we’ll steal our food.

  33. These filthy pigs don’t care about shootings. They want them to happen to whip up support for disarming the public because they find it easier to prey on disarmed people. There is no such thing as a good pig.

  34. A moderator beyond the pale would let this sheepdog print his opinion of this “lion”! But then my mother would be ashamed of me…

  35. Pride goeth before a fall.

  36. Sheriff Israel must have realized that a career as a self serving dishonest politician was going nowhere unless he associated with an organization that had perfected the art of corruption – so he switched from the Republican Party to the Democratic Party. He probably has found plenty of like minded company since he switched parties. As an additional benefit he will have the expertise of the Clintons to rely on.

  37. I suppose he is amazing in a number of ways: amazing incompetence, amazing malfeasance, amazing dereliction of duty, amazing hubris.

  38. Scott Israel must be summarily fired. If a community can tolerate a bureaucrat shifting blame for the deaths of 17 students, it deserves what it will reap in terms of cowardly law enforcement in the future. In the meantime, let’s get rid of all citizen-owned guns so Broward County residents can rely on the likes of Scott Israel for protection.

  39. Broward County: the most Democrat-dominated County in Florida, and the most poorly-run, where they elected a dishonest Democrat sheriff, who hired cowardly deputies who did nothing during a school shooting, where Democrat voters can’t figure out how to mark ballots, and where Democrat election officials can’t even figure out how to count them.

  40. Israel sounds much like the typical gangland Don we see in the movies. I guess that’s the way Democrat-controlled and inspired sheriffs act. The State needs to act NOW on his removal. He is a crappy leader and an incompetent political hack.

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  43. That self-described lion as a Florida resident, should know, the “sheep” are armed and he damned well better listen. The Broward Co. “sheep will pull the “trigger” and fire his ass!

  44. More and more is coming out. This clearly shows these people clearly should not have been in their position. They just wanted a cushy job with zero accountability. Take the B and R out of Broward and replace it with a C. Sounds about right. Coward County.

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