Mass Shootings

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel Will Finally Lose His Job, Almost a Year After the Parkland Shooting

The sooner he's gone, the better.


Mike Stocker/TNS/Newscom

Newly minted Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis (R) will soon fire Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel over his mishandling of the police response to the Parkland shooting in February 2018.

DeSantis's office has not confirmed these plans, but people with knowledge of the situation told The Miami Herald that Israel's days were numbered. The sheriff plans to fight the matter in court, and will request a trial before the Florida state senate. Presumably, that body's Republican majority will back DeSantis and give Israel the boot.

The firing would be long overdue. Israel's tenure was marked by incompetence, corruption, and gross mismanagement. While he is not responsible for the actions of Nikolas Cruz, the deranged teenager who killed 17 of his former classmates and teachers at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year, nor is he directly responsible for his deputies' failure to respond properly, Israel was ultimately the man in charge. His office staff was poorly trained, their equipment malfunctioned, and their security protocols failed, according to the state's 458-page report on the shooting.

One might have expected a sheriff who presided over such a disaster—a disaster very possibly made worse by his office's myriad failures—to come across as apologetic, or at the very least humbled. But Israel has remained defiantly confident. In fact, he called his own leadership "amazing," and gave the following non-response when CNN's Jake Tapper asked him if he would have done anything differently: "If ifs and buts were candy and nuts, O.J. Simpson would still be in the record books."

Israel's allies are attempting to paint any attempt to fire him as a political move, since DeSantis is a Republican and Israel is a Democrat. But firing him is the right move regardless of party affiliation. Israel is a bad sheriff, and the sooner he's gone, the better.