PARKLAND, FLA. (WSVN) - The parents of the victims of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting have gathered to oppose the reinstatement of Scott Israel as Broward County Sheriff.
In a press conference held Monday outside the Broward Sheriff’s Office in Parkland, the parents expressed that they do not want to see Israel back in office.
Fred Guttenberg, who lost his daughter, Jaime Guttenberg, in the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting, was one of the parents that spoke at the conference.
“He has turned himself into the victim. The former sheriff of this county has made himself a victim of the Parkland shooting,” Guttenberg said. “No, the people who died are the victims.”
In September, a special investigator for the Florida State Senate recommended that Israel be reinstated into office.
Gov. Ron DeSantis removed Israel shortly after he took office in January 2019 and cited several failures he felt Israel had made leading up to the shooting.
However, the special investigator said DeSantis failed to make his case, and state lawmakers will vote next week whether or not to give Israel his job back.
During the press conference, the parents urged state senators to uphold the governor’s decision to remove Israel.
Max Schachter, who lost his son, Alex Schachter, in the shooting, said he wishes Israel had resigned after the shooting.
“He should be ashamed of himself and should have resigned and should not be trying to get his job back,” Schachter said.
Manuel Oliver, who lost his son, Joaquin Oliver, in the shooting, said, “There’s not one argument that will convince anyone that it’s a good idea to bring this guy back.”
Israel’s lawyers have released a statement that read, in part, “Sheriff Israel committed before the horrific shooting and afterwards that he would work every day to keep the people of Broward County safe to the best of his ability. He has done that and will continue to protect the people as Broward Sheriff in fulfilling his sworn responsibilities.”
The parents said they are not done with trying to prevent Israel from returning to office. Before the vote, they will head to Tallahassee to lobby state senators to stand with them and DeSantis.
If they vote in favor of Israel, he could become Broward County’s Sheriff the same day.
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