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Parkland Survivor Confronts Disgraced Deputy Inside Courthouse Elevator

Kyle Kashuv confronted retired Broward Sheriff's Deputy Scot Peterson about his failure to act.

Fort Lauderdale, FL – Disgraced retired Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Scot Peterson was confronted by a former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student inside a Broward County Courthouse elevator on Tuesday (video below).

Peterson was at the courthouse to give a seven-hour closed deposition in one of multiple lawsuits pending against him in connection with his failure to act during the 2018 massacre, which left 17 students and staff members dead, WTVJ reported.

When Peterson wrapped up his testimony and stepped into the elevator, former Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School student Kyle Kashuv was ready to ask him some questions of his own.

“Can you explain to me why 17 people died at school?” Kashuv asked the former school resource officer as his friend recorded the scene. “Fourteen kids…[you] stood outside with a gun, [and] did absolutely nothing?”

“That was your job,” Kashuv continued. “Now you’re getting $80K a year, to stand there, while you let those kids die. It’s disgusting. It’s despicable. And I hope that lives with you for the rest of your life.”

Peterson stared straight ahead throughout the confrontation. He never responded, and did not appear to make any eye contact with Kashuv.

“You had the chance to save those kids,” the student said. “I don’t know. I don’t know how you live with yourself every day, man. You were that one that [was] supposed to go inside.”

“You know, I was there that day,” Kashuv continued a moment later. “I was a student there, in the building right next to it. And 14 of my classmates – never coming back – ‘cause you didn’t act.”

Kashuv later told WTVJ that he wanted to confront Peterson because “he was the only individual armed and he didn’t do his job, and I wanted to ask him why.”

“It was his job to go inside, and he let 17 people die,” he added. “Fourteen of those are kids. Three of those were unarmed individuals who actually ran in, when that was his job.”

Kashuv, who is now a senior at a different Broward school, posted the footage to Twitter, where it has been viewed over 860,000 times.

Peterson was allowed to retire from the Broward Sheriff’s Officet, WTVJ reported.

The 32-year veteran of the force is now collecting a $104,424 annual pension, Republican State Representative Spencer Roach said in a Facebook post on Wednesday morning.

“I think it’s preposterous that this individual gets $104,000 – which I would consider blood money – when he didn’t do his job,” Kashuv told WTVJ.

On Wednesday, Roach proposed a bill that would strip Peterson of his pension.

“Today I filed a bill to strip the $104,424 annual pension from disgraced Deputy Scot Peterson, the ‘coward of Broward,’” Roach’s Facebook post read.

“He was derelict in his duty and hid in a stairwell for 48 minutes while 34 people were shot at Marjory Stoneman Douglas. His duty was to protect them, and he willfully chose not to do so. In the military, this is punishable by death, but in Florida we award a six-figure pension. This is wrong,” the lawmaker wrote.

The former school resource officer (SRO) is currently paid $8,771 a month by the Florida Retirement System (FRS), the Sun-Sentinel reported.

Roach’s bill proposed taking away all of Peterson’s pension except that which he paid into it himself.

Peterson resigned from the Broward Sheriff’s Office shortly after the Valentine’s Day 2018 massacre at the Parkland high school.

Initially, then-Broward Sheriff Scott Israel heralded the SRO for his bravery after a former student went on a shooting spree inside a classroom building.

But then surveillance video from the school and recordings of police radio transmissions revealed that the man charged with protecting the students had hidden outside the building until long after the shooting stopped.

Instead of going into the building to confront the gunman, Sheriff Israel said that surveillance video and witness interviews showed that Deputy Peterson took up a position outside the door to the freshman building that was under attack, but never went inside, WPXI reported.

Eight days after the shootings, Sheriff Israel announced that he had suspended Deputy Peterson and the school resource officer had resigned shortly thereafter.

At the request of former Florida Governor Rick Scott, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement launched a criminal investigation into law enforcement’s response to the Parkland school shooting.

The investigation included an examination of the actions taken by Peterson, who remained outside the building instead of rushing in to help the victims or to confront the active shooter.

When the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School Public Safety Commission subpoenaed Peterson to appear before them in November of 2018, he stood them up.

Instead, the disgraced school resource officer sent his lawyer to deliver a message that Peterson was suing the commission, the Miami Herald reported.

He also launched a GoFundMe page to solicit $150,000 in donations to fund his legal defense.

The campaign was up for a full day with no donations before somebody anonymously donated $20 and the campaign was taken down.

The lawsuit alleged that the commission has acted outside of its statutory authority, asked a Broward court to quash his subpoena, and requested that Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gaultieri be removed from his position as chairman of the commission.

Peterson’s attorney, Joseph DiRuzzo, did not tell the commission that Peterson would not be testifying until he had hand-delivered the lawsuit to them.

He later released a statement accusing the commission of failing to act as a “neutral fact-finding body,” and said that the entity had “succumbed to the not-so-thinly-veiled personal agendas of the commission members,” according to the paper.

On Sep. 5, 2018, the commission watched a second-by-second video account that showed where Deputy Peterson was during the shooting, relative to the location of the shooter, the Sun Sentinel reported.

The video was presented by Broward Sheriff’s Office Detective Zack Scott, who stopped repeatedly during the presentation to explain what exactly was occurring in the footage, including the body count as the shooter progressed through the building.

The video showed that the school resource officer arrived at the building and heard gunshots while the shooter was still on the first floor of the building.

“So if Peterson had gone through the door, he would have encountered the shooter?” Commission Chair and Pinellas County Sheriff Bob Gaultieri asked.

“Entirely possible,” Det. Scott responded.

Most members of the commission agreed that if Peterson had acted according to current police protocols and policies, fewer people would have died on Feb. 14, the Sun-Sentinel reported.

You can watch footage of Kashuv confronting Peterson in the video below:

Holly Matkin - March Fri, 2019


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