(NBC6 Miami) … Peterson, 56, was arrested in Broward County on Tuesday on seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury, Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials said.
Wednesday, Judge Jackie Powell kept a $102,000 bond on Peterson during a morning hearing in Fort Lauderdale while denying a motion by Peterson’s lawyer to allow the former deputy to return to his North Carolina home to retrieve his passport as a condition of his release.
“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”
Opinion| I don’t want to sound like I’m defending him, there’s no doubt that Peterson’s cowardice was reprehensible and likely cost some students their lives, but the idea that ‘doing nothing’ is punishable by 96 years in prison sounds more like the action of a lynch mob.
It seems to me they might be trying to silence Peterson.
As we learned in the days following Nikolas Cruz’s shooting rampage, that left 17 dead and 17 injured, Peterson wasn’t the only Broward police officer who cowered in place rather than take action.
Instead, they cowered outside hiding behind their cars. Right next to the slogan painted on their cars, “trust us to protect you.”
Why weren’t they named in the indictment?
Making the charges even more suspicious was the fact that two members of the Miramar SWAT team, Detectives Jeffrey Gilbert and Carl Schlosser, were given temporary suspensions for having responded without asking permission.
Which is it? Where is the thin line police officers responding to a crisis are supposed to walk?
Broward County PBA President Jeff Marano characterized Gilbert and Schlosser’s action while questioning their rip:
“While it may have been a violation of policy to not notify their supervisors that they were going there, their intentions were brave and heroic, I think.”
There was also this report from Local10.com of overwhelming response from the neighboring Coral Springs PD.
About 130 cops from the Coral Springs Police Department responded to the shooting at the school, which borders the city and is about three miles from the station, Police Chief Anthony Pustizzi told Local 10 News in an exclusive interview.
Roughly 40 of those officers rushed into the building, where 23 victims were carried out to medics. Of those victims, 20 survived, the chief said.
Then there was this report from the Sun Sentinel about the man new Governor Ron DeSantis replaced disgraced Broward Sheriff Scott Israel with:
The new governor replaced Israel with former Coral Springs Police Sgt. Gregory Tony, 40, who has a background in active-shooter training and becomes the first black sheriff in Broward County’s history.
Why wasn’t Sheriff Israel charged for assembling an entire response team as guilty as Peterson?
I understand the emotions fueling the demand that criminal charges be brought against Peterson, but Peterson’s attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo, is right when he warned:
“Mr. Peterson was not criminally ‘negligent in his actions as no police officer has ever been prosecuted for his/her actions in responding to an active shooter incident.
Let there be no mistake, the actions taken today against my client should concern the American Public and every public employee who, under the State’s misguided legal theory, could be criminally liable for actions taken as a ‘caregiver.’
To that end, the State’s actions appear to be nothing more than a thinly veiled attempt at politically motivated retribution against Mr. Peterson as no other individual employed at the Broward Sheriff’s Office or Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has been criminally charged.”
Something doesn’t smell right about Peterson’s lone indictment. Perhaps that something is intended to obscure the failure of former President Obama’s outcome-based student policing policy.
Or maybe the goal is to obscure the FBI’s misfeasance after they had received multiple warnings, including at least one from the gunman himself.
There’s enough stink here to fill a library.