Governor removes Parkland sheriff over failure to save children

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Broward Sheriff Scott Israel refused to resign for almost a year but on Friday, he was suspended and replaced by former Coral Springs Police Department Lt. Gregory Tony. "The sheriff remains steadfast in continuing to serve the citizens of Broward County as well as the men and women under his leadership", the sheriff's attorney, Stuart Kaplan, told CNN.

Minutes after DeSantis' announcement, Israel said he would fight the suspension.

"Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership", DeSantis said in a statement.

"DeSantis also cited the Broward County sheriff's response to a 2017 mass shooting at Fort Lauderdale International Airport".

A plane transporting Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis to South Florida was forced to make an emergency landing early Friday afternoon in St. Petersburg.

"The suspension caps a almost year-long series of revelations that exposed the failure of Broward sheriff's deputies to run in to save children at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School".

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Israel had created the department's active-shooter policy which obviously let the community down.

"This suspension is not about what occurred on February 14th", Israel said. The actual power to remove the sheriff from office is in the hands of the state Senate.

According to the Miami Herald, a state panel investigating the shooting found that sheriff's deputies weren't properly trained, and that they took cover to protect themselves instead of pursuing the shooter. After being notified, the Senate then asks the suspended official whether they plan to resign or want to request a hearing.

Broward County Sheriff's Office training on active shooters was inadequate, according to the report, which also recommended arming teachers and spending more on school security and mental health to prevent similar mass shootings.

The Sun-Sentinel explained the Florida Constitution gives the governor the authority to suspend public officials for "neglect of duty" and other causes.

"Our community and our kids will be much safer now that Sheriff Israel is out of office", Pollack, whose daughter was among the 14 students and three faculty members killed, said.

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Parkland families said they have high hopes for Tony.

"I've given fantastic leadership to this agency", Israel said on CNN, weeks after the shooting. "I understand it's easier to say "Suspend Sheriff Israel" than it is to address the real problem: The problem around this nation of gun violence".

Israel expressed sympathy for the families but blasted DeSantis, a Republican, for carrying out what he considered to be a political hit job.

In his remarks, the sheriff boasted of his accomplishments while at the helm of an agency with more than 5,400 employees, including deputies and firefighters.

According to Florida statute, the governor has the power to suspend the sheriff for actions such as "misfeasance" and "neglect of duty" and may fill the office by appointment for the period of suspension.

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