Q&A of the day – About Scott Israel’s status
It’s the Q&A of the day. Each day I’ll feature a listener question that’s been submitted by one of these methods.
Facebook: Brian Mudd https://www.facebook.com/brian.mudd1
Today’s note comes from Scott:
Question guys - is there the possibility of a criminal negligence charge or some other charge or charges from his actions?
Bottom Line: The quick answer on the possibility is of a charge is yes, it’s possible. It’s similar but different to the question as to one could sue. The answer is always yes (in the case of a lawsuit you can sue anyone for anything at any time – that doesn’t mean there’s validity behind it). Clearly in the case Scott Israel, the extraordinary action taken by the governor to suspend him lends credibility to your question. First, here’s the legal definition of criminal negligence:
- Reckless disregard for the lives or safety of other persons.
That’s kind of like answering a question by introducing another question. What’s the definition of reckless disregard?
- an act of proceeding to do something with a conscious awareness of danger, while ignoring any potential consequences of so doing
Hmm, ok. The question gets down to whether Scott Israel intentionally acted in a way that endangered people without consideration for the consequences of doing so. Proving intent in this case might prove to be challenging but let’stake a look at language used in Governor DeSantis’s executive order suspending him. Here’s some of what was stated:
Prior to the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, Broward County Sheriffs Office had a total of 21 interactions with the shooter, including two incidents that an internal affairs investigation later found warranted additional follow-up; (and weren’t addressed)
Sheriff Israel is responsible for inserting into the Broward County Sheriffs Office Active Shooter Policy that a deputy "may" enter the area or structure to engage an active shooter and preserve life;
During the shooting at the Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood Airport the Broward County Sheriffs Office failed to contain and maintain security resulting in a breach of airport security, an internal investigation into the Fort Lauderdale Airport shooting uncovered a lack of leadership by Sheriff Israel, including: a failure by Sheriff Israel to establish proper containment procedures for the crime scene, a failure by Sheriff Israel to establish a centralized command and response, a failure by Sheriff Israel to provide his deputies adequate, thorough and realistic training, and a failure by Sheriff Israel to establish an appropriate response to a mass casualty incident; the investigation also revealed that Sheriff Israel's neglect of duty and incompetence lead to "most of the law enforcement personnel who responded [lacking] clear instructions, objectives, and roles. ";
There’s a lot more, pages more, within the Executive order but these excerpts capture the crux of the failures. If you’re attempting to infer whether there was intent...really the only intentional action would be the change of language for active shooter policy from will to may. Everything else speaks to woeful incompetence and perhaps being derelict of duty but it’d be a really tall legal hill to climb to suggest that the failures were born of intent.
Hopefully that’s helpful in answering your question.