New details show Broward Sheriff’s handling of Parkland shooting was even WORSE than we thought

Things look worse for the Broward Sheriff’s Office and Sheriff Scott Israel as more details have emerged about the February mass shooting at a Parkland, Florida high school.

Israel, who has faced backlash for his leadership since the shooting which left 17 people dead, is facing renewed criticism over reports that the Broward Sheriff’s Office captain that day refused to let neighboring paramedics enter the building to help save lives.

(Image: screengrab)

According to the Miami Herald:

During the chaos of the Parkland school shooting, paramedics from Coral Springs-Parkland Fire Department were desperate to go inside the building where students were wounded and dying.

Michael McNally, deputy chief for Coral Springs fire-rescue, asked six times for permission to send in specialized teams of police officers and paramedics, according to an incident report he filed after the Feb. 14 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting that left 17 people dead.

But every time McNally asked to deploy the two Rescue Task Force teams — each made up of three paramedics and three to four law enforcement officers — the Broward Sheriff’s Office captain in charge of the scene, Jan Jordan, said no.

 

In a report released Thursday by Coral Springs, McNally wrote that the Broward Sheriff’s Office “incident commander advised me, ‘She would have to check.'”

“After several minutes, I requested once again the need to deploy RTF elements into the scene to … initiate treatment as soon as possible. Once again, the incident commander expressed that she ‘would have to check before approving this request,’ ” McNally wrote.

Even after the gunman, Nikolas Cruz, was arrested, the request was still denied. That request, according to McNally, was made six times.

“I’m not saying the [RTFs] would have made a difference and I’m not saying they wouldn’t have made a difference, but it would have been more medics and more hands helping out,” Coral Springs Fire Chief Frank Babinec said Thursday, according to the Miami Herald.

SWAT medics went in instead of the special RTF teams which provide police protection of paramedics who are treating victims when a shooter has not been captured.  Medics are only sent in “after it has been confirmed the threat is mitigated,” according to Veda Coleman-Wright, a spokeswoman for BSO.

More from the Miami Herald:

Instead of having extra paramedics in the building, law enforcement officers brought injured victims — sometimes on golf carts — to a medical staging area hastily assembled nearby. Then they were sent to hospitals. Fifteen of the 17 mortally wounded victims died at the school. Another 17 people survived their injuries.

In his report, McNally, who had been ordered to act as a liaison between Coral Springs fire command and BSO, also claimed BSO’s command post was severely dysfunctional. Communication was difficult, McNally said, because he often could not locate Jordan, BSO’s district commander for Parkland.

 

Jordan was a former colleague of Israel’s from the Fort Lauderdale Police Department and was handpicked by the sheriff to lead the Parkland district.

“The command post was inundated with too many people and made it impossible to establish and function,” McNally wrote in his report.

“Later, it was determined that the RTF element may not have aided in any additional care to patients,” he added. “However, this information was not known at the time of the requests.”

Medical air rescue was also denied at the time and Jordan’s only command when she arrived on the scene was for deputies to form a perimeter around the school, according to the Miami Herald. Cruz was arrested off campus more than an hour after the shooting began but even then, McNally said his request to send the special teams into the building was denied by Jordan.

The Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association delivered a resounding message in a vote of “no confidence” to Israel in April and asked ask Florida Gov. Rick Scott to remove him over his handling of the shooting and its aftermath.

 

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