It was a talking point issued by the Broward County Sheriff for days: stop saying that we made contact 39 times with the Parkland school shooter. It’s JUST NOT TRUE, they said:
The clear implication is that they were called (and responded) only 23 times.
Well, it turns out that they responded to more than 23 calls. They also responded to more than 39. Records show that sheriff’s deputies responded to at least 45 calls about the shooter before the shooting. BuzzFeed (of all places) has the story:
Broward County sheriff’s officials said in a statement late Saturday that they responded only to 23 calls involving suspected Florida school shooter Nikolas Cruz or his family over the years, but records obtained by BuzzFeed News show at least 45 responses since 2008.
The number of calls made over the years involving Cruz or his family, according to the call records, are nearly twice the number publicly disclosed by the department.
Remember, as Jennifer Van Laar told us, that the sheriff had specifically disputed Dana Loesch at the CNN town hall when she said there had been 39 visits:
DANA LOESCH: And he had already taken bullets and knives to school. He had already assaulted people. He assaulted his parent. He assaulted other students. Thirty-nine visits. And this was known to the intelligence and law enforcement community. Now I’m not, look, I’m not saying that you can be everywhere at once. But this is what I’m talking about. We have to follow up on these red flags. Doesn’t that not meet the standard?
SHERIFF ISRAEL: You’re absolutely not the litmus test for how law enforcement should follow up. You’re wrong. There weren’t 39 visits. Some of them were GOA [Gone on Arrival], some of them called from other states…
I guess Sheriff Israel will try to parse language: “call” vs. “response” vs. “visit.” Is his “defense” going to be that they got 45 calls but made contact with him in just slightly over half of those calls? Is that going to be his position — that almost half the time they got calls, they just never followed up to make contact? Hopefully it is easy to see that such a “defense” is only a further indictment of the failures here — not to mention a game of numbers-playing that is anything but forthright and honest with the public.
The sheriff could do with a less haughty attitude and a little more openness.
He might also consider offering his resignation.