In comparing the apparent failures of law enforcement in Uvalde, Texas, to stop a recent school shooter with the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Gov. Ron DeSantis pushed accountability of law enforcement and schools.
DeSantis, asked at an Orlando news conference about his thoughts on the Uvalde mass shooting last week that killed 19 young children and two teachers, said a lesson from the 2018 school shooting in Parkland was that law enforcement must be held to high standards and must be held accountable to those standards.
“We’re going to figure out definitively what happened with this response or non-response,” DeSantis said.
“I met with Parkland families. I can tell you one of things they were frustrated about was there was not an adequate effort to rescue their kids,” the Governor said.
In that February 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, 14 students and three staff members were murdered. Investigations found that Broward County Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson, who was serving as the school resource officer on the day of the shooting, failed to confront the shooter. Investigations found several other Broward deputies also did not urgently enter the building.
Last week in Uvalde, nearly 20 officers reportedly stood for about 45 minutes in the hallway outside the adjoining classrooms where the gunman killed students and teachers.
“The shooter didn’t meet the quick resistance that he should have met,” DeSantis said of Parkland. “You had a lot of folks that could have been held responsible and nobody had been held responsible. So when I came in we decided to do something about that.”
“I honor the service of people who wear the uniform. Their duty is to put themselves in harm’s way. And that’s not an easy thing to do. You’ve got to be willing to step up. And when those times call, and they’re not easy, you have to be able to respond, particularly when you’ve got people who aren’t able to defend themselves,” DeSantis said.
“So what we did in Parkland was say we’re going to hold law enforcement accountable as well,” he added. “And that’s the thing. You can have the best security in the world. But if you don’t have folks that are out there when it really counts, which very well may have happened in Texas, then it’s not going to amount as much.”