In a lengthy and tense interview on CNN’s State of the Union this morning, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was pressed by anchor Jake Tapper on when he knew that deputy Scot Peterson — the armed response officer for Marjory Stoneman Douglas High — didn’t immediately react to the shooting.
And Israel indicated that he actually knew before his much-discussed appearance at CNN’s town hall event on the Parkland massacre in which he laid into the NRA and spokesperson Dana Loesch.
With the CNN anchor noting Israel had spent quite a bit of time with victims’ families and survivors before and during that town hall, he asked Israel if he knew about Peterson’s actions that evening.
“It was spoken about during that earlier during that day,” the sheriff said. “I’m not on a timeline for TV or any news show. We need to get it right. We need to get it accurate. We’re talking about peoples’ lives. We’re talking a community. We need to corroborate and verify and once we did, the next day and I looked at the tape and I was 100% certain that it happened the way I was told about the investigators initially told about.”
Israel went on to state that he had investigators check videos and once he knew about any wrong actions taken by his deputies his orders were to have detectives inform the families. Tapper shot back that the families were at the town hall, wondering aloud why Israel didn’t just disclose to them then.
Israel said the following:
“I couldn’t disclose it then because there was no corroboration, Jake. There was no confirmation. We needed to dot I’s and cross T’s and I would not disclose it to a family at a town hall. Not every family was there. One of the families, Mr. Pollack had gone to Washington, D.C. That’s not the way you do things over a news camera. You do it individually. You meet privately with families. You have compassion. You don’t do it at a public forum.”
Tapper would then grill Israel on his belligerent tone with Loesch and towards the NRA in which he said there was a need for more police protection, even though he had knowledge of his own deputies inaction at the shooting.
Watch the clip above, via CNN.
[image via screengrab]
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