- Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel faces criticism for his department’s repeated failures to stop Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz
- Israel has been accused of using his department for political purposes
- Israel faced criticism after a PAC supporting his campaign accepted donations from a felon with ties to organized crime
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, currently under fire for his department’s repeated failures to stop Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz, is no stranger to controversy.
Israel was criticized in 2014 after a political action committee supporting his re-election campaign for sheriff accepted thousands of dollars in donations from a convicted felon.
The donor, Yoram Izhak, was indicted for allegedly being part of an organized crime ring known as the “Cuban Mafia” that “was allegedly involved in cocaine trafficking, arson, gambling and murder,” according to Local10.
The sheriff has also faced corruption accusations: department employees routinely attended campaign events while on the clock for their taxpayer-funded positions, a Local10 investigation found in 2016.
A Sun-Sentinal investigation the same year found that the sheriff had routinely handed out taxpayer-funded jobs to political supporters. The sheriff’s response at the time: “lions don’t care about the opinions of sheep.”
Israel is now facing sharp criticism for his department’s repeated failures to stop Stoneman Douglas school shooter Nikolas Cruz. The sheriff’s office was warned repeatedly that Cruz was a school shooter in the making, by both his relatives and those close to him, but failed to act to prevent the shooting.
Cruz’s guardian told police that the Cruz had “bought tons of ammo,” “used a gun against (people) before” and “put the gun to others’ heads in the past.” (RELATED: The Government Repeatedly Failed To Stop The Parkland Shooter)
Then, when Cruz opened fire at Stoneman Douglas high school last week, Israel’s sheriff’s deputies stood by as the shooter mowed down defenseless victims.
One of Israel’s sheriff’s deputies, Scot Peterson, stood outside the building and refused to confront the shooter, Israel admitted on Thursday.
Three other Broward County deputies reportedly waited outside while the shooting was going on, according to a report on Friday. Israel did not disclose that fact to the public.