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.
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.
“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.
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.