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Jay Fant wants second investigation of Broward Sheriff’s Department over Parkland shooting

Attorney General candidate Jay Fant wants a second investigation, including convening a grand jury, into the local response to the Parkland school massacre.

Even though Gov. Rick Scott has already tasked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to look into local law enforcement’s response to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting, the Jacksonville Republican lawmaker is now asking the Broward County State Attorney to begin his own inquiry into the event.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel faces increasing scrutiny for his agency’s response before, during and after the Feb. 14 incident.

Recently released records reportedly show the BSO responded to nearly 50 calls about Nikolas Cruz or his brother in the 10 years before Cruz went on his shooting spree at his former high school. According to CNN, call logs from the sheriff’s office show that between 2008 and 2017, authorities received 45 calls relating to Cruz or his brother.

Reasons for the calls range from “domestic disturbance” to “missing person” to “animal abuse”.

“Sheriff Israel and his deputies have failed their community,” Fant wrote Tuesday to Broward County State Attorney Michael Satz. “They failed before the shooting to properly identify and deal with the threat, despite at least 18 calls warning them that Nikolas Cruz planned to shoot up the school.

“They failed the day of the shooting when at least one deputy, and possibly more, failed to enter the building protect the students. I fear that without an independent, outside investigative body, they may fail us again.”

Fant concludes by advising Satz to reassign the investigation to another prosecutor if his office is stretched too thin with other matters to investigate BSO properly.

Written By

Mitch Perry has been a reporter with Extensive Enterprises since November of 2014. Previously, he served five years as political editor of the alternative newsweekly Creative Loafing. Mitch also was assistant news director with WMNF 88.5 FM in Tampa from 2000-2009, and currently hosts MidPoint, a weekly talk show, on WMNF on Thursday afternoons. He began his reporting career at KPFA radio in Berkeley and is a San Francisco native who has lived in Tampa since 2000. Mitch can be reached at mitch.perry@floridapolitics.com.

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