Give CNN anchor Jake Tapper credit, he actually held Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel’s feet to the fire over his office’s response to the mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., that claimed the lives of 17 people.
Sheriff Israel appeared on “State of the Union” amid reports that at least four of his deputies remained outside the school, taking no action as a killer fired on students inside.
Tapper grilled the sheriff over missed red flags and his department’s follow up on information received on the gunman.
“Let’s talk about them in February 2016 your office received a call that the shooter made a threat on Instagram to shoot up a school,” he asked. “One of your deputies responded and according to your records, the information was forwarded to Deputy Peterson at the school. What, if anything, was done with that information?”
Israel responded that he “was not sure if anything was done with that information,” but suggested his office handled most of the calls made about Cruz appropriately.
“Are you really not taking any responsibility for the multiple red flags that were brought to the attention of the Broward sheriff’s office about this shooter before this incident, whether it was people near him, close to him, calling the police,” Tapper asked.
Remarkably, Israel responded by touting his “amazing leadership.”
“Jake, I can only take responsibility for what I knew about,” he replied. “I exercised my due diligence. I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency…”
“Amazing leadership?” an incredulous Tapper interjected.
“Yes, Jake,” the sheriff doubled down, before stumbling through an explanation.
“There’s a lot of things we’ve done throughout this — this is — you don’t measure a person’s leadership by a deputy not going in to — these deputies received the training they needed,” he said.
“Maybe you measure somebody’s leadership by whether or not they protect the community,” Tapper fired back.
“In this case, you’ve listed 23 incidents before the shooting involving the shooter and still nothing was done to keep guns out of his hands, to make sure that the school was protected, to make sure you were keeping an eye on him — I don’t understand how you can sit there and claim amazing leadership?”
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