Ex-sheriff’s deputy on trial for inaction during Parkland school massacre

Unbelievable of a former sheriff’s deputy accused of failing to intervene during the 2018 Parkland college taking pictures in Florida has begun, marking the primary time a regulation enforcement officer has been criminally prosecuted for inaction during a school shooting within the United States. Scot Peterson, who served as a faculty resource officer at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, faces 11 felony charges, including child neglect and culpable negligence. He has pleaded not responsible.
Peterson’s defence staff, led by lawyer Mark Eiglarsh, has warned that a profitable prosecution might set a dangerous precedent. Eiglarsh argued that Peterson had been “sacrificed” to deflect public scrutiny from the Parkland incident, which left 17 people lifeless and 17 others injured and stays one of the deadliest school shootings in US historical past. The defence lawyer claimed that Peterson’s prosecution was an try and shift blame away from other officers, including Scott Israel, the Broward County sheriff on the time.
On the opposite hand, Broward County Assistant State Attorney Steven Klinger offered a different account of the events on February 14, 2018, when then-19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, a former scholar, opened hearth within the school. Klinger identified that Peterson left his office 36 seconds after Cruz began capturing however in the end remained exterior the building the place the assault was happening, taking shelter 23 metres away.
“He’s the lead safety individual at that faculty,” Klinger advised the six-member jury. “He is educated how to handle a scenario the place he’s the only law enforcement individual there to deal with an energetic shooter.”
According to Klinger, Peterson had an obligation to behave: “You’ve got to get in there, and you’ve obtained to find the shooter.” The capturing lasted for round six minutes, but Peterson held his place for almost 40 minutes.
In addition to three misdemeanour expenses of negligence and seven counts of felony child neglect, Peterson faces a misdemeanour rely of perjury for his statements to investigators following the massacre. At the time, he stated he solely heard “two, three” photographs coming from the building, which prosecutors have framed as a lie.
Defence lawyer Eiglarsh countered this narrative during the trial, emphasising the confusion many witnesses at the scene skilled. He plans to call 22 of them to testify. Eiglarsh also explained that Peterson’s “two, three” pictures comment referred solely to what he initially heard, not an general evaluation of the gunfire that day.
Peterson has since expressed remorse within the US media for what happened that day. “Those are my children in there,” he advised the TODAY Show in June 2018. “I never would have sat there and let my youngsters get slaughtered.”g

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