So the Broward County PD is turning out to be quite the operation.
First some background.
So I think I've mentioned in the past that one of my friends - I'll call him Lyndon - is the bureaucrat who handles disbursing Federal police grant money to local PDs in Florida.
Whenever police stuff comes up, Lyndon's something of an apologist, but it's always grounded in actual police policy (i.e. explaining why a policy that may seem dumb or weird to a civilian is the way it is) or in other matters of legislation or PD policy. Even if the rest of us end up disagreeing with him anyway, he's (mostly) civil and interesting to listen to and learn about that cop of stuff instead of having some raging ideologue spout off.
Usually conversations go something like
Us: "This thing the police did is dumb"
Lyndon: "Well, it's because of this PD policy, which came about because of X and Y"
Us: "Well that policy is producing stupid outcomes"
Lyndon: "Then tell your Local Alderman/State Rep/Congressman and vote for someone who will change that policy."
So after the recent Florida shooting, people were quite angry about the Broward County Deputy reportedly not entering the school as the shooting was in progress, and of course Lyndon ended up explaining the reasoning behind it.
Not only is 99% of police field policy designed around officer safety (which he's mentioned often), but that in about half of the cases where a cop or guard has charged in solo to stop an active shooter (assuming a cop even arrives before the shooting's over, which only happens about 40% of the time) they just ended up shot and either incapacitated or dead anyway. This slows response down further because if a second cop shows up alone, they're in the exact same situation, only now there's an officer who's been shot in the building too. Lyndon has actually done active school shooter drills, with police, in a three story building very similar to Parkdale, and he also talked about how difficult it is to clear a hallway or intersection if you're searching alone for a shooter without being ambushed or spotted first.
We also asked about the +/-EV to the kids if a cop simply disregards the question of their own safety. Apparently any direct encounter may well wind up killing more kids rather than less, so based on studies of past mass shootings, the +EV for "lone cop charges in solo" is very close to even, although this is something you can't really calculate all that easily because the studies are essentially might-have-been reconstructions. Still, it's not even clear that sacrificing yourself will do anything useful anyway, because as even Lyndon knows, the "good guy with a gun" narrative is total bullshit. To truly be a solo hero (hey, it does happen, albeit rarely), you need to not just be action-movie-hero smart, you need no small amount of luck.
I can actually understand this, because not only have I read about past shootings where that did happen, I also remember that when we had a shooting on Parliament Hill here (2014), when the shooter walked into the building an officer on duty who saw him come in actually grabbed the shooter's gun
and still ended up shot and unable to help further.
So all this is to say that I can see why a lone officer might have good reasons to stay put instead of cosplaying Dirty Harry when real lives are involved, even if it still doesn't sit right on a gut level.
That said, the officer is not actually legally prevented from going in if their conscience does demand it of them. In fact, if they do choose to take that risk, they're very strongly legally covered. So it's a case of "We don't want you to do this and it's probably a bad idea if you do, but whether you do or not, we've still got your back." which, if they do go in, I should fucking hope so.
This all matters because while the deputy in question in the school shooting was immediately fired by the department, this was a flagrant violation of all those legal protections. Essentially, the firing was purely for show, so that the department could give a furious public a scapegoat. In fact, the Broward County Sheriff actually quietly walked the firing back two days after he did it. If he hadn't, the officer could have very easily won a massive lawsuit against the department.
And that's the end of it, right? Well, no. Apparently even when they had FOUR deputies on site, the Broward County deputies STILL refused to go in:
The narrative of "prudent response" rather than "gutless cowards" is stretching rather thin now.
Meanwhile, in a TOTALLY-UNRELATED STORY, it turns out that, oops, an independent who previously investigated the local School Board's relations with the Broward County Police claims they uncovered a hell of an interesting tale
What I stumbled upon was a Broward County law enforcement system in a state of conflict. The Broward County School Board and District Superintendent, entered into a political agreement with Broward County Law enforcement officials to stop arresting students for crimes.
The motive was simple. The school system administrators wanted to "improve their statistics" and gain state and federal grant money for improvements therein.
Initially the police were excusing misdemeanor behaviors. However, it didn't take long until felonies, even violent felonies (armed robberies, assaults and worse) were being excused.
Well it didn't take long for criminal gangs in Broward and Miami-Dade to realize the benefit of using students for their criminal activities. After all, the kids would be let go... so organized crime became easier to get away with if they enlisted high-school kids.
At the end, they allege that Nicholas Cruz was one such kid - and that the reason that the multiple reports of his intent to shoot up the school went ignored locally were because it was part of a continued pattern of not charging kids with ever-more-serious crimes.
Now I got zero clue who this anonymous "investigator" is, and they sure claim a lot of conpiracy-level access so biiiig grain of salt here. BUT they do provide some reference documents (see original Twitter thread if they don't display in the Threadreader link above) and links to supporting news stories. This could be a legitimate local reporter who was following a story and is choosing to publish it anonymously, or it could be a shit disturber trying to inflate some sketchy local policy decisions into an oversized scandal. Either way, they've certainly put a lot of effort into this, far more than the usual trolling internet jokester hoaxter.
Stay tuned, I guess?
EDIT: Lyndon saw this and he's saying that in Florida that the Federal grant money he knows of/handles goes to counties with higher reported crime, not less. So that's one count against. On the other hand, he also said it's very possible (he's definitely not one to claim there's no or minimal police corruption - even he knows it's a very real and huge problem), just that it would have to be for other reasons than that grant funding:
The grant money goes to places with more reported crimes, not less.
School funding for education isn't going to look at crime at all. School funding for behavior/crime is going to go up with higher reporting. There isn't a combination of agencies and grants that would work like this is saying.
That isn't to say the scheme wasn't happening. I think it was and everything in that thread checks out for me EXCEPT the part about getting more money. That's a big assumption they're making. I would not be surprised to find that the DJJ money actually went down.
school funding for education might look at like, graduation rate, which would be adversely impacted by arresting students?
Yeah but less than you would expect and in a very slow trend-based manner that doesn't fit the MO for the type of scheme being described. It sets off my fraud alarms but I don't think the writer has actually figured out who is benefiting and how yet.
Like they are describing a conspiracy between a bunch of cops wherein none of them individually benefit. The district benefits and the sheriff's office indirectly benefits, but the individual cops do not. So that's bullshit right there. You're missing the primary ingredient for fraud.
This person has done their analysis backwards. These big conspiracies, when they occur, grow organically out of individual people benefiting from something.
Somewhere nestled down in there is a nonprofit run by someone's brother. That's where it'll be, not some plan to get a tiny bit more state funding for a major metro area.