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Florida Senate votes to remove Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

Accountability finally finds Sheriff Israel.

I think we all, rather unfortunately, remember Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, the chief law enforcement official in the area with the Stoneman Douglass mass shooting last year. His contentiousness in the CNN townhall towards Dana Loesch made him even more well known. His failures were at least partially responsible for the outcome of the shooting.

Previously, Governor Ron DeSantis had suspended Israel for his reprehensible behavior after the shooting and the lack of accountability before. Of course, Israel wasn’t taking that lying down, stating that he would be seeking reelection in 2020.

The Florida state Senate voted Wednesday to permanently remove Israel from his post as sheriff. As Anthony Man at the South Florida Sun Sentinel reported:

The 25-15 vote was mostly along party lines with Republicans, who are a majority in the Senate and loyal to the Republican governor, generally supporting removal while most Democrats voted to reinstate the Democratic sheriff. All five Broward senators voted for reinstatement, despite the wishes of Parkland parents.

I found it interesting that the Senate members from Broward county were in favor of retaining Israel, especially in the face of opposition from parents. I know that I was in their position, I wouldn’t forget that vote come election time.

Israel is upset about his removal, calling the process “a sham” and that “politics won”. After all this time and evidence, is the man really that deluded to think that he is blameless in this? Israel should fade quietly into the background and should never hold a law enforcement position again.

Lori Alhadeff, whose daughter Alyssa was killed at the school and has since been elected to the Broward School Board, said the Senate vote brought some accountability for failures surrounding the Parkland shooting.

“I wanted truth, justice and accountability, and today we received some accountability,” Alhadeff said. “It was important for me to be here today because I wanted to look into the senators’ eyes, hear what senators voted yes and no, to see it for myself.”

Alhadeff, Hoyer and several other family members said after the vote they were disappointed that all five senators who represent parts of Broward — some of whom saw the inside of the school when it was still a fresh crime scene — voted to reinstate Israel.

“That was very difficult to watch. They cried with us. They might even have seen my child dead, and so it was very difficult, and I know the Broward County voters are watching,” Alhadeff said.

And this is what the vote to remove Israel is really about. It was to bring accountability to a man who wanted to blame so many others besides himself for what happened. This tragedy happened on his watch and he wanted to bear no responsibility. At least in this case, accountability was served. And while it won’t bring back the children parents lost, I pray that Israel’s removal brings them a small measure of peace.

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