Things That Matter

Parkland Officer Arrested And Fired For Hiding While Students Were Killed At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Reinstated

Update May 14, 2020, 4:45 p.m. PST: The world changed on Feb. 14, 2018. Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 students, teachers, and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School with an assault rifle. On-duty resource officer Scot Peterson was on campus and hid while the gunfire rang out. Two years after the incident he has been jailed, tried in court, and, now, reinstated to his old job.

Parkland officer Scot Peterson has been reinstated to his job with full back pay.

Peterson was the on-duty resource officer when Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. He was fired because of his inaction that allowed for the shooter’s rampage to go unimpeded. Peterson was charged with neglecting his duties as he hid behind his car while Cruz terrorized and killed people in the high school.

Peterson is getting his job back, with full back pay, on a technicality.

Broward Sheriff’s Union announced that the disgraced officer was getting his job back during a press conference. Peterson was fired on June 4, 2019, because of his inaction on Feb. 14, 2018. According to the union, the sheriff’s office violated a clause about notifying Peterson within 180 of his being fired. The union argues that the firing happened 2 days after the 180 days had passed. As a result, Peterson will be reinstated to the police department with full back pay and his seniority intact.

“He was a coward,” Max Schachter, whose son Alex died during the shooting, told WPLG. “He certainly does not deserve to get his job back, and I hope that the judge that this ruling can be overturned and changed.”

Sergeant Brian Miller, another officer fired for his lack of action that day, remains terminated from the police force.

Original: Scot Peterson, 56, was the on-duty resource officer on the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School campus on Feb., 14, 2018. That was the day that Nikolas Cruz shot and killed 17 people in the school while Peterson remained outside never confronting the shooter. He is now in jail facing charges connected to his lack of response during the shooting, including charges of child neglect.

Scot Peterson was the on-duty armed guard at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida when 17 people were shot and killed.

According to reports, former Broward Deputy Peterson has been charged with 11 felonies because of his inaction during the shooting. Peterson, who is facing charges including child neglect, culpable negligence, and perjury, has long been criticized for hiding during the shooting. While 17 people were killed, Peterson can be seen on camera standing outside of the building and hiding from the shooter for 50 minutes.

The charge for perjury was added because Peterson, under oath, denied hearing gunshots when he first arrives at the building where the shooting occurred.

Credit: @PollackHunter / Instagram

According to The New York Times, one student, Arman Borghei, said he looked out of a window and saw Peterson outside building 1200 where the shooting took place. Peterson allegedly had his gun drawn but was frozen in place doing nothing to locate and confront the shooter.

News of his arrest and charges has been met with celebration from people on social media.

Credit: @ravireport / Twitter

“We cannot fulfill our commitment to always protect the security and safety of our Broward County community without doing a thorough assessment of what went wrong that day,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said in a statement about terminating Peterson.  “I am committed to addressing deficiencies and improving the Broward Sheriff’s Office.”

People are also so over other people trying to give the former deputy a way out of the responsibility.

Credit: @chrisrowFL / Twitter

We have seen recent examples of unarmed people taking down gunmen to save fellow classmates and coworkers. Peterson was the armed guard on campus and some people argue that his lack of action led to a higher death toll that Valentine’s Day.

Former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School students are joining the online discussion to give people a face to attach to the tragedy.

Many of the students and their supporters are happy with Peterson being arrested for negligence allowing people to die. Families and friends who lost loved ones in the shooting at the Florida high school are waiting to see if the trial will unfold in their favor or not.

Check back with mitú as we cover the developments of this story.

READ: After Two Parkland Students Commit Suicide, Community Unites To Share Mental Health Resources

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Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Things That Matter

Armed Police In Tulum Arrested A Gay Couple For Allegedly Kissing On The Beach

Despite the COVID-19 pandemic, Mexico has remained a popular tourist destination as people seek out places with fewer restrictions. However, Mexico’s popular beach destination of Tulum apparently still has some restrictions – for LGBTQ folks – that the police are quick to enforce.

A Canadian couple was briefly detained by police for allegedly kissing on the beach.

Police in the popular resort town of Tulum, about 90-minutes south of Cancun, briefly arrested a gay couple for kissing in public on a beach, alleging that the couple was not allowed to kiss in public because children were present.

According to local media reports, police said they were reacting to a report by someone else on the beach who had claimed that the men were “committing immoral acts.”

The couple were handcuffed together and ordered in to the back of a patrol vehicle until a crowd of onlookers formed and began to shout disapprovingly at police after one of the men explained to the crowd why they were being detained.

Outraged bystanders gathered around the couple and urged the police to let the men go.

The crowd began shouting in support of the couple, calling the actions homophobic and demanding the couple’s release.

The pressure from the crowd apparently prompted officers to release the men after a few minutes of dialogue. The presence of Escalante herself might also have been a factor.

In response to the arrest, Quintana Roo Tulum Police said: ‘We are an inclusive and impartial police both for residents and tourists who visit the state of Quintana Roo. So no abuse of authority will be tolerated.’

Video of the incident quickly went viral on social media with outrage being the common reaction.

Video and photos of the arrest went viral after on social media accounts, including that of local politician Maritza Escalante Morales, who denounced the actions of the officers. Escalante happened to be at the beach with her family when she noticed the officers approach the couple, she said, and joined the crowd to advocate for the couple’s release.

“I want to file a PUBLIC COMPLAINT, because the treatment and type of authorities we have in our municipality is inexcusable. Yesterday while I was on the beach with my family, we noticed around 4:30 that 2 police squads in their ATVs approached a group of young foreigners. After about 20 minutes, a patrol arrived and proceeded to arrest them with handcuffs,” she explained on TikTok.

“The policemen were VIOLENT,” Morales added, “and gave arguments such as ‘there are families and children and they cannot be seeing this. I am FURIOUS because it is not possible that in the XXI century this type of oppression against the LGBT+ community continues. We all deserve the same treatment, and appropriate sanctions must be applied to these authorities.”

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Thirteen Years After Her Daughter’s Murder, Casey Anthony Is Producing A Documentary To ‘Clear Her Name’

Things That Matter

Thirteen Years After Her Daughter’s Murder, Casey Anthony Is Producing A Documentary To ‘Clear Her Name’

Updated Feb. 8, 2021.

In 2008, the death of Caylee Anthony gripped headlines across the United States after her mother Casey Anthony was charged with first-degree murder. The case attracted a significant amount of news attention and quickly became a media circus. Forty million people watched testimony in the case which became the main topic of talk shows across the country.

Now, thirteen years after her daughter’s death, Casey Anthony is back to making headlines. After enduring so much legal trouble, Anthony is thrusting herself back into the legal field again, this time for business.

Casey Anthony is raising eyebrows once again after filing paperwork to open a private investigation company in South Florida.

Anthony filed documents listing herself as a registered agent of Case Research & Consulting Services, LLC last December. Her business, according to People, was registered to a home in West Palm Beach owned by Patrick McKenna. During the time of her trial, McKenna worked as Anthony’s lead investigator.

According to state records, Anthony does not have a Florida private investigator’s license. As a convicted felon she will not be able to obtain a license.

Casey Anthony is also now pushing to become a movie producer.

 According to TMZ Anthony and co-producers, Tamra Simmons and Ebony Porter-Ike are setting out to produce a movie about her daughter’s murder in an effort to clear her name.

TMZ says that the producers behind the documentary say Anthony is “finally ready to clear her name, bring justice to her daughter, and begin the process of establishing her daughter’s legacy in a different light.”

“She knows what it’s like to be accused of something that she didn’t do,” a source told People. “She wants to help other wrongfully accused people, especially women, and help them get justice.” The source noted that Anthony has yet to obtain clients. “It’s in the very early stages,” explained the source. “She has big plans for her future, and hopes that it will change how people see her.”

In 2008, Anthony was charged with first-degree murder for the disappearance of her daughter Caylee.

Anthony’s case became notorious after it came out that she had not reported her daughter missing until 31 days after she disappeared. A massive search went underway for the toddler who was almost three. The search ended when her body was found in a wooded lot near Anthony’s family home.

On July 5, 2011, a jury found Casey not guilty of first-degree murder, aggravated child abuse, and aggravated manslaughter of a child. They did, however, find her guilty of four misdemeanor counts of providing false information to a law enforcement officer.

After she was acquitted, a Department of Corrections spokeswoman Gretl Plessinger described Casey as “the court made a pretty strong statement that she was one of the most hated women in America.”

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