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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DEMOCRACY DOES NOT EXIST...

without free and fair elections, a vigorous free press, and engaged citizens to reclaim power from those who abuse it.

In this election year unlike any other—against a backdrop of a pandemic, an economic crisis, racial reckoning, and so much daily crazy—Mother Jones' journalism is driven by one simple question: Will America will move closer to, or further from, justice and equity in the years to come?

If you're able to, please join us in this mission with a donation today. Our reporting right now is focused on voting rights and election security, corruption, disinformation, racial and gender equity, and the climate crisis. We can’t do it without the support of readers like you, and we need to give it everything we've got between now and November. Thank you.

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