Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel addressed reporters Thursday after the deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida.
A gunman opened fire at Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida Wednesday afternoon, killing 17. Sheriff Israel confirmed the fatalities and read the names of some of the victims in an emotional moment during the press conference.
Then, Israel laid down the blunt truth for the media. In a forceful statement, the sheriff told reporters to leave the grieving families alone. “If they say they don’t want to talk to you, respect them,” Israel said forcefully. “Don’t move forward with your camera. Don’t move forward with your microphone. Let these families be. Let these families heal. They deserve that.”
The sheriff’s full statements deserve to be heard:
I know some of you are going to heed my remarks and I know some of you are not, but I’m going to say them anyway. You need to respect the privacy of these families. These families are going through the most horrific time in their lives, and if they say they don’t want to talk to you, respect them. Don’t move forward with your camera. Don’t move forward with your microphone. Let these families be. Let these families heal. They deserve that. Please honor them. Many of them called me and asked me to transfer this message, and I hope you’ll consider listening. Many of you would have done it anyway. Some of you might not. Please respect these families. They lost children. They lost loved ones. Could you imagine what they’re going through?
Thank you for your time. Any questions?