74 Florida Republican Lawmakers Are Calling for the Sheriff in the Parkland Shooting to Be Suspended

Read the letter they sent Florida Governor Rick Scott.

Lannis Waters/ZUMA

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Hours after Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called his own leadership during the recent Parkland, Florida shooting “amazing” in an interview with CNN’s Jake Tapper, 74 Republican lawmakers are calling for Israel to be suspended for “incompetence and neglect of duty.”

Israel has faced mounting criticism for his department’s response before and after the shooting that left 17 people dead at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14. On Sunday morning, Florida Gov. Rick Scott ordered the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the sheriff’s office’s handling of the attack. But Scott stopped short of suspending Israel, despite the urging of the Florida Republican caucus. 

“In the years leading up to this unspeakable tragedy, Sheriff Israel, his deputies, and staff ignored repeated warning signs about the violent, erratic, threatening, and antisocial behavior of Nikolas Jacob Cruz,” wrote the Speaker of the Florida House, Richard Corcoran.

Read the rest of Corcoran’s letter here:

One of the first calls for Israel’s ouster came on Saturday, when Florida State Rep. Bill Hager (R-Boca Raton) demanded the governor remove Israel from power altogether. Israel defended himself in response, arguing that Hager’s claims were “riddled with factual errors, unsupported gossip, and falsehoods.” Here’s the full text of his reply:

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The bottom line: Corporations and powerful people with deep pockets will never sustain the type of journalism Mother Jones exists to do. And advertising or profit-driven ownership groups will never make time-intensive, in-depth reporting viable.

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And if you can help us out with a donation right now, all online gifts will be matched thanks to an incredibly generous matching gift pledge.

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