The Broward County Sheriff’s deputy assigned to the school in Florida where 17 people were killed in February was suspended after being caught sleeping in his patrol car while he was supposed to be keeping an eye out for potential danger.
The case is the latest black mark for the sheriff’s department, which was heavily criticized in the wake of the Feb. 14 mass shooting.
After the shooting, it emerged that the deputy then assigned to the school, Scot Peterson, had refused to enter the building to try to confront the shooter.
In a contrast, the school resource officer, or deputy, assigned to a school in Maryland confronted a shooter this week and was able to end the situation within one minute, AP reported.
Peterson initially said that he believed the gunshots were coming from outside but radio dispatches later revealed he did indeed believe they were coming from inside, but had refused to enter.
Peterson was suspended and shortly thereafter, resigned.
Deputy Moises Carotti was supposed to take over for Peterson and exercise better judgment, but the sheriff’s office said that a sergeant patrolling inside the school was alerted by a student that he was actually sleeping in his car outside the building.
“Roughly 30 minutes before Deputy Moises Carotti was found asleep, other deputies arrested Zachary Cruz, the brother of gunman Nikolas Cruz, for trespassing.” https://t.co/b88dd2Kjsi https://t.co/OPi3fDrgik
— Nick Short ?? (@PoliticalShort) March 20, 2018
The sergeant went outside and found Carotti inside a marked patrol vehicle. Carotti appeared to be sleeping, a spokeswoman for the department told USA Today. The case has triggered an internal investigation.
“The sergeant responded to the marked patrol vehicle, which was parked on the Northwest corner of the 1200 building,” The sheriff’s office wrote in a press release Tuesday, March 20.
“He knocked on the window to get Carotti’s attention, who appeared to be sleeping.”
Carotti was suspended with pay.
This bso officer was on patrol for the 1200 building. If an outsider were to go in, the building would be tampered evidence and the shooter could be set free. There are so many things that continue to fail my student body https://t.co/sXw1hiCSVy
— Kyra Parrow (@longlivekcx) March 21, 2018
He was ordered to turn in his badge, turn over his vehicle, and inform internal affairs of his where he was twice a day during the suspension, reported the Miami Herald.
The case has renewed calls for the resignation of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.
Israel has also been faulted for not acting on dozens of tips about Nikolas Cruz, the alleged shooter in the February shooting.
Two deputies are under investigation for possibly not following department policies during the response to those tips.
“Of all the schools in America, you would think this would be the safest one right now,” said Sen. Marco Rubio, (R-FL). “This is so outrageous it’s almost impossible to believe.”