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Politics

Scot Peterson, 'Deputy Who Never Went In' During the Parkland Massacre, Has Been Arrested and Charged

June 4, 2019 - 8:15pm
Scot Peterson explaining to the Valentine's Day incident to the public
Scot Peterson explaining to the Valentine's Day incident to the public

Former Broward County Deputy Scot Peterson was arrested Tuesday on seven counts of neglect of a child and three counts of culpable negligence and one count of perjury. He was booked into the Sheriff's Office main jail in Fort Lauderdale.

The arrest follows a 15-month investigation into the actions of law enforcement during and after the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland.

Peterson, 56, the school security guard, was on duty during the attack but never went inside, even after he heard shooter Nikolas Cruz repeatedly firing his weapon. 

“The FDLE investigation shows Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the massacre that ended in the death of 17 students, teachers and staff and injury of 17 others,” said FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”

Peterson's official police mug shot
Peterson's official police mug shot
FDLE said in a news release the investigation shows Peterson refused to check out the source of gunshots, instead retreating during the active shooting and directing other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building.P

To get to the point of arrest, the agency said FDLE agents interviewed 184 witnesses, reviewed many dozens of hours of video surveillance, and wrote 212 investigative reports totaling more than 800 hours on the case. FDLE said in a news release agents received the full cooperation and assistance of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, Coral Springs Police Department and every agency that responded to the shooting. 

"All the facts related to Mr. Peterson’s failure to act during the MSD massacre clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges," said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony. Gov. Ron DeSantis appointed Tony to replace Sheriff Scott Israel for Israel's negligence leading up to and following the Parkland tragedy. 

"It’s never too late for accountability and justice," Tony told reporters.

The twice-divorced Peterson, an Illinois native, was a 30-year law enforcement veteran who started with the Broward Sheriff's Office in July 1985. He attended then-Miami Dade Community College and Florida International University, where he graduated with honors with a bachelor's degree in criminal justice. He lives in a suburb of Boynton Beach.

In his last service evaluation, which covered the period from February 2016 to February 2017, his evaluator wrote, "Deputy Peterson is trusted as the School Resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland. He values his position and takes pride in protecting the students, faculty and staff at his school. Deputy Peterson is dependable and reliable and handles issues that arise with tact and solid judgment. He is a positive influence on the students and they respect and appreciate his position."

If convicted as charged, Peterson could face a maximum of nearly 97 years in state prison. His bond has been set at $102,000.

“It’s been a long time coming,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow, 18, was killed. “Accountability is all I wanted, and now it looks like it’s happening.”

Reach Nancy Smith at nsmith@sunshinestatenews.com or at 228-282-2423. Twitter: @NancyLBSmith

Comments

Deputy Peterson is a liberal and like all male liberals a week Lilly livered coward. Like all liberals he expects someone else to pay his health insurance and supports late term abortions AKA infanticide. Deputy Peterson looked at the killer simply performing late term abortions on the childern and felt he had no right to interfere under Roe vs. Wade. Stupid weak male liberals.

SCOTUS has ruled multiple times that the police have no duty to protect you. If he perjured himself they may be able to convict him of that. But otherwise he will walk free. I believe he is a scumbag coward who should have and was fired.

Perjury? O.K. Negligence? O.K. But you're using this guy as the singular scapegoat instead of dealing directly with the systemic failure that actually occurred.

I was unaware that Nikolas Cruz (the shooter) was not arrested or apprehended or charged. Could you provide a link where this is explained?

Just a pure COWARD. Nothing further be said, in that an unknown number of Deaths are "ON HIM".

I'm not sure exactly what's best to do here, but dammit, he signed up for the job. At precisely the one time when he was needed, he proved to be nothing more than a donut eater. Yes, it was a dangerous situation, but dammit, he's a trained cop that signed up for the task. If he wasn't willing to show bravery and thoughtfulness in a dangerous situation where his skill and training were needed, then he should have gotten a different job. I'm sorry, but I have absolutely NO SYMPATHY for whatever happens to this cowardous POS.

Mike, So you want to arrest the gun store.... So why not the uber driver who brought him there or the cell phone company that he made the call from to get the ride and on and on. YOU ARE A MORON !!!!!! The deputy is just a coward and his life is ruined already. The arrest should have been the shooter who was let off to many times by liberal administrators and law enforcement policies. Mike, Get your facts straight about this kid and you will see where a cuddling policy and school rating classification caused this whole tragedy.

If I had been there with no weapon and no body armor I would have tried to save those kids any way I could. This is why we have to be able to protect ourselves. You can never depend on others to do so. there are many good people in law enforcement but, you never know when one is a coward and will not do so and they can never be everywhere and always in the right place at the right time.

Now let’s arrest the Ones REALLY responsible : the gun store that sold the assault rifle and the ammo to the nutcase shooter — and the cowardly legislators who let him do it.

That's like saying that your ISP should be arrested for letting you submit this incredibly ignorant post.

I fear that the one REALLY responsible for Scott Peterson's disgusting cowardly behavior will escape punishment- Sheriff Israel who trained his Deputies NOT to go in and I suspect that will be the defense BTW Think a little, you would prosecute Ford/GM and their dealers for every bad act by Motorists Grow up and THINK

Hey, Mike, since your reasoning is what it is--you will probably find this a great idea: Why not just ARREST THE GUN??? Then we could all take turns pounding on it with hammers to be sure that at least that particular GUN will never shoot anyone again. What say you to that idea? It is at least as sane as the idea you just put forth regarding the gun store.

That's not so different from "arresting the gun store" as Mike suggested. But I'm not sure how they're going to cuff it or bring it into the station for questioning. Then again, I don't think Mike thought this through very well.

Mike, So you want to arrest the gun store.... So why not the uber driver who brought him there or the cell phone company that he made the call from to get the ride and on and on. YOU ARE A MORON !!!!!! The deputy is just a coward and his life is ruined already. The arrest should have been the shooter who was let off to many times by liberal administrators and law enforcement policies. Mike, Get your facts straight about this kid and you will see where a cuddling policy and school rating classification caused this whole tragedy.

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