Skip to main content

The Journal Gazette

Saturday, January 12, 2019 1:00 am

Sheriff replaced over response to massacre

Associated Press

FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – New Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel on Friday over his handling of February's massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

The Republican governor flew to Fort Lauderdale three days after taking office to remove the Democratic sheriff, appointing a former police sergeant to serve as acting sheriff. Gregory Tony, 40, worked for Coral Springs police for 12 years before leaving in 2016 to start a company specializing in active-shooter training. He is the first African-American to serve as Broward's sheriff.

DeSantis' office issued a statement saying, “Sheriff Israel has repeatedly failed and has demonstrated a pattern of poor leadership. He failed to protect Floridians and visitors during the tragic Fort Lauderdale International Airport shooting in 2017. He failed in his duties to keep our families and children safe during the devastating shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School on February 14, 2018. These incidents demonstrate Sheriff's Israel's repeated incompetence and neglect of duty.”

The statement added, “The families of the victims deserve accountability.”

Minutes after DeSantis' announcement, Israel said he would fight the suspension.