Broward sheriff confronted by reporter outside Democrat club: ‘How do you have time to politic?’

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel speaks before a CNN town hall broadcast, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)

Source: Washington Times – Friday, March 30, 2018

Embattled Broward County, Florida, Sheriff Scott Israel, who has managed to avoid media interaction since the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School brought harsh scrutiny upon his department, chastised a local reporter who confronted him outside the Weston Democratic Club this week.

WPLG’s Bob Normanapproached Sheriff Israel on Monday outside a Wings Plus restaurant where the Democrats club was scheduled to meet, asking the sheriff, “How do you have the time to politic when you got all these problems?”

“Your stories have never been balanced,” Sheriff Israel accused the reporter.

 “This isn’t about me, sheriff,” Mr. Norman fired back. “There are 17 dead people. If you’re disappointed in me, I think there’s a lot of people disappointed in you.”

“You know, I disagree with you,” Sheriff Israel said.

“You haven’t heard? About the country being disappointed in you and the [Broward Sheriff’s Office]?” Mr. Normanasked.

“No, not at all,” Sheriff Israel responded. “My job is to protect and serve the Broward County residents.”

“Did you do that?” Mr. Norman asked. “Did you do that?”

“But when the report is in, we’ll have that conversation,” Sheriff Israel said.

“Are you ever going to take responsibility for what happened at Stoneman Douglas?” Mr. Norman asked.

“When the report’s in, we’ll have that conversation, Bob,” the sheriff repeated.

Sheriff Israel was referring to the Florida Department of Law Enforcement investigation ordered by Gov. Rick Scott that is expected by the end of the month.

The governor called for the probe in February after receiving two letters, one from state Rep. Bill Hager and the other from Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran — cosigned by 73 Republican colleagues — that demanded Sheriff Israel’s removal, Fox News reported.

Mr. Corcoran wrote in his letter that 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.”

Sheriff Israel made several media appearances in the immediate aftermath of the Feb. 14 shooting, calling for stricter gun control laws and criticizing the National Rifle Association, but he has managed to avoid reporters since a damaging CNN interview last month when he refused to take any responsibility for his deputies’ inaction during the shooting or his agency’s failure in following up on prior complaints about accused shooter Nikolas Cruz.