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Broward County Sheriff Received More Than 23 Calls about Nikolas Cruz
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Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel. Photo courtesy of CNN.

Summary: CNN found a discrepancy between the number of reported calls about Nikolas Cruz or his family and the number found in call logs. 

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel has come under scrutiny after reports emerged of his staff allegedly mishandling the Parkland shooter before the Valentine’s Day tragedy. Now, Israel is even deeper in controversy after CNN reported that he had misrepresented the number of complaints about Nikolas Cruz and his family.


After the February 14 tragedy in Parkland, Florida, Israel said that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office had received 23 complaints about Cruz and his family, but CNN said that the department had actually received at least 45 calls for service between 2008 to 2017.

Earlier this month, Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and pulled the fire alarm. After students and staff exited their rooms, he opened fire with an automatic rifle and killed 17 people and injured numerous other.

Cruz had been expelled the year before for bad behavior and had posted gun imagery and threats on his social media.

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Cruz’s victims stated that they were not surprised Cruz had been the shooter; and post-massacre reports showed that before the shooting, authorities were notified repeatedly that he was a danger to others. For instance, the FBI had received at least two complaints about him and the local police had been dispatched multiple times to Cruz’s home to deal with incidents caused by him or his brother.

CNN said that they have asked Sheriff Israel why there was a discrepancy between what he had disclosed and the number they had uncovered, but the sheriff’s department has not responded with an explanation.

CNN said that they were given a log of Cruz-related calls based on public records a day after the shooting. The log showed at least 39 calls were made before 2017. On Saturday, the sheriff’s office stood by the original reported number, saying that the police responded to 23 calls and that that was the number they had reported.

“Since 2008, BSO responded to 23 incidents where previous contact was made with the killer or his family. STOP REPORTING 39; IT’S SIMPLY NOT TRUE,” the sheriff’s office statement said.

The Parkland shooting has ignited an intense gun control debate around the country, and many of the Parkland survivors have organized to fight for gun control. These emboldened high school students such as Emma Gonzalez and David Hogg have appeared at rallies or on television shows to talk about the need for gun control and to call out politicians such as Marco Rubio who take money from the National Rifle Association.

Rubio has responded to the students’ concerns, and he said that he stands by the Second Amendment.

After the attack, reports stated that the school’s armed deputy had not entered the school during the shooting, and he has subsequently resigned. People have also criticized the FBI and the local police for failing to stop Cruz, even though they were warned of his behavior.

“Deputies make mistakes. Police officers make mistakes. We all make mistakes,” Israel told CNN. “But it’s not the responsibility of the general or the president if you have a deserter. You look into this. We’re looking into this aggressively. And we’ll take care of it and justice will be served.”

What do you think of Sheriff Scott Israel? Let us know in the comments below.


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