Ex-School Officer Charged for His ‘Complete Inaction’ in Parkland Massacre


Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Deputy Scot Peterson was arrested Tuesday on negligence and child neglect charges related to last year’s shooting at the Parkland school.

Peterson, 56, was arrested in Broward County on seven counts of neglect of a child, three counts of culpable negligence, and one count of perjury, Florida Department of Law Enforcement officials said.

The arrest comes after a 15-month investigation into the actions of law enforcement after the Feb. 14, 2018 shooting at the school that killed 17 students and staffers and left 17 others injured. Peterson was the school resource officer at MSD High School during the shooting.

“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others,” FDLE Commissioner Rick Swearingen said in a statement. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.”

The investigation showed Peterson refused to investigate the source of gunshots, and retreated during the active shooting while victims were being shot and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building, FDLE officials said.

“I was pleased the Florida Department of Law Enforcement in conjunction with the State Attorney’s Office conducted a thorough investigation that yielded the arrest of Scot Peterson. All the facts related to Mr. Peterson’s failure to act during the MSD massacre clearly warranted both termination of employment and criminal charges. It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement.

Peterson was booked into jail and his bond was set at $102,000, officials with the Broward State Attorney’s Office said. Attorney information wasn’t available.

The charges carry a maximum prison term of 96 and a half years if convicted.

Peterson was a 30-year deputy who had been assigned to Stoneman Douglas for nine years. He resigned days after the shooting when he was told he was going to be suspended without pay and subject to an internal affairs investigation.

In an interview with NBC months after the shooting, Peterson defended his actions that day.

“The families need to know, I didn’t get it right, but it wasn’t because of ‘I don’t want to go into the building (or) I don’t want to face somebody in there,'” Peterson said. “It wasn’t like that at all.”

“I never thought even for a moment of being scared or a coward because I was just doing things the whole time. It never entered my mind.”

Source : Nbcnewyork