National Rifle Association spokesperson Dana Loesch answers a question while sitting next to Broward Sheriff Scott Israel during a CNN town hall meeting, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, at the BB&T Center, in Sunrise, Fla. (Michael Laughlin/South Florida Sun-Sentinel via AP)
After the Parkland shooting which claimed the lives of many innocent high school students and teachers, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel sat on a stage next to radio show host and Second Amendment advocate Dana Loesch and proceed to blame her and the National Rifle Association for everything that happened on that fateful day.
The truth was later revealed that it was Israel and his department’s incompetence and failure to act on many occasions both before and while the shooting was occurring that was the real people at fault for the atrocity. He was suspended and Florida lawmakers began the long process of deciding if he should be kicked to the curb.
According to the Sun-Sentinal, the Florida Senate did just that, but it definitely wasn’t a unanimous vote. It would appear that despite Israel’s apparent blunders, Democrats wanted to keep him in office:
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 can stand here and I can tell you how I empathize with the Parkland parents,” said Democrat Sen. Perry Thurston said. “I’m not disregarding them. None of us would.”
Thurstan added that “95% of Broward County feels differently about the attempt to remove the sheriff.” It’s unclear where he got that number.
“We are tasked between deciding about how we feel and the dangerous precedent we leave behind,” said Democrat Sen. Kevin Rader.
According to the Sun-Sentinal, the “high standard for proof for removal had not been met” according to Rader.
Democrat Sen. Gary Farmer believed that Parkland parents and Republicans were being ruled by emotion and not rationality when it came to their desire to see Israel gone.
“Because of the horrendous and ghastly nature of that event, it’s easy to be moved by the emotion and the pleas of the parents who are still grieving and who forever will be grieving for the loss of their children,” Farmer said. “We are a country founded on rule of law. We cannot base our decision on emotion.”
Israel himself also believed that reason didn’t win the day.
“Politics won,” he told the Sun-Sentinal, adding that the “process was as a sham. It was a farce.”
Dana Loesch, whom Israel used as a scapegoat while on the infamous CNN Townhall that followed the Parkland shooting, told RedState that this is a fitting outcome for Israel.
“Scott Israel thinks he’s the victim and that his job was “stolen.” The lives of 17 innocent people were what was stolen,” Loesch told RedState. “He isn’t the victim here — the people he failed to protect are the victims. It’s why the families and his own deputies stood against him. No amount of his thuggish bullying will change that and I’ll be there at his every step to call him out every single time.”
Kyle Kashuv, one of the Parkland students who survived the shooting, told RedState that this was a just end to Israel’s career, and thanked the Parkland families who did lose family members for helping bring it about.
“Thanks to the tireless work of Andrew Pollack, Ryan Petty and the Parkland families, Scott Israel finally got some semblance of the justice he deserved for his deep corruption and incompetence that enabled the tragedy at my school,” Kashuv told RedState.
Kashuv also applauded the Republicans who voted to remove Israel from office and slammed the Democrats who defended him.
“Good on those in the Florida Senate who voted for his removal, and it’s an absolute shame on those who voted against. I cannot thank Governor DeSantis enough for continuing to stand by his promises to Parkland and the Parkland families,” he added.
Israel seems to believe that he’s going to retake his office during an election in 2020, but judging by the number of people who have turned against him after the truth about the shooting came out, especially the Parkland parents and students, it’s unlikely he’ll see office again.