We have already noted that local police had ‘interacted’ with Nikolas de Jesus Cruz 39 times, but that he was never arrested or charged with anything. While the warnings given to the FBI have garnered more attention, this was primarily a failure of local law enforcement. Now there’s this:
Nikolas Cruz has history of school disciplinary reports
By Bob Norman – Investigative Reporter | Posted: 12:20 AM, February 16, 2018
PARKLAND, Fla. – Administrators at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School recommended back in January 2017 that the school board conduct a “threat assessment” on Nikolas Cruz to determine if he was a danger to the school and its students, according to documents exclusively obtained by Local 10 News.
A copy of Cruz’s discipline summary shows that Cruz was involved in an assault at the school on Jan. 19, 2017, less than three weeks before he was transferred out of the school. It was on that date that the school put in a referral for the threat assessment on Cruz, who now faces 17 counts of premeditated murder for firing an AR-15 rifle at the high school on Valentine’s Day.
It’s not known at this time what the result of the assessment was, or even if the school board conducted it, as board spokeswoman Tracy Clarke said she couldn’t answer those questions, citing student privacy.
Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie said Thursday, however, that the school board had no clue of the danger that lurked in the former student.
“We received no warning, no hints, no tips,” Runcie said. “There was no warning that we saw.”
There’s more at the original. But, unless Superintendent Runcie was lying — always a possibility when people feel the need to cover their butts — the recommended threat assessment was never done.
How about that? Mr Cruz was
expelled transferred out of Douglas High School following his assault on another student, reportedly the new boyfriend of the girl who had dumped him, but this assault, when Mr Cruz was already 18 years old, was not referred to prosecutors for criminal charges, and the internal recommendation for a threat assessment — something to keep the school, but not the community, safe — was shelved or ignored or whatever, but not done in any form which was given to the School Board.
- The local police never arrested him, despite at least 39 known interventions, on charges of theft and vandalism; the police didn’t do their jobs!
- The FBI, notified not once but twice about Mr Cruz’s social media musings about killing people, didn’t do it’s job!
- The School Board staff, despite the recommendation of Douglas High School, either never started or failed to complete and report the threat assessment; the staff didn’t do its job!
- Nina Barela, a counselor from the nearby Henderson Behavioral Health facility, where Mr Cruz was a client for years, “advised that it was unnecessary to invoke a Florida law allowing police to put a mentally ill person in custody. ‘A Baker Act was not needed,’ the report said.” Nina Barela failed in her job!
All of these failures, by all of these people, people who had important jobs to do, people on the public payroll; will any of them be held accountable? Will any of them be suspended, or demoted, or relieved of duty? Will any of them be fired for incompetence?
One thing jumps out at me: all of the actions which should have been, but were not taken were actions which would have involved more work. The police officers who never arrested him had less work to do by simply talking to him. The FBI agents who should have followed up on the reports given them concerning Mr Cruz had less work to do by ignoring their jobs. The School Board staff, notified that a threat assessment was needed, had less work to do by not getting the assessment done in a timely fashion — if they even started it. And the staff at the Henderson Behavioral Health center had less work to do by not asking the police to put Mr Cruz in protective custody.
Laziness has become culpable negligence. But I’d still bet a root beer float that no one, not a single soul, will be disciplined in any way for not doing his job.
Cross-posted on The First Street Journal.