There are more than 66 investigations by the Broward County State Attorney’s office into Broward County Sheriff’s deputies and employees, ranging from drug trafficking to kidnapping since 2012, according to a 2014 Brady list produced by the Broward State Attorney’s office. Forty of the investigations occurred under embattled Sheriff Scott Israel’s watch. His office is now under investigation for allegations that his deputies failed to allow first responders from treating patients at the scene of Stoneman Douglas High School shooting on Feb. 14, and failure of his deputies to enter the school during the rampage that left 17 people dead, according to reports.

Over the weekend Israel fought back on calls for his resignation saying the actions of his deputies were “[not] his responsibility” when they failed to enter the high school that was under siege by Nikolas Cruz, 19. Police responded to calls regarding Cruz over 45 times over a seven-year period, although Israel disputes the report, stating his office only received 23 calls during that time frame.  The FBI also received a detailed call on Jan. 5,  warning that Cruz had posted disturbing images of slaughtered animals and comments on his Instagram saying he wanted to kill people, according to reports. The FBI stated on Feb. 16, that the tip was not forwarded to the FBI Miami Field Office.

But Israel has long had been criticized for his leadership. While Israel is battling allegations that his office failed to appropriately respond to the Cruz shooting, he is also fighting a civil court case brought by the family of Jermaine McBean, an African-American information technology engineer. McBean was killed in 2013 by Israel’s deputies after they responded to a call that McBean was walking in his neighborhood with what appeared to be a weapon. It was an unloaded air rifle.

Police responded to calls regarding Cruz over 45 times over a seven-year period

McBean, who was listening to music on his earbuds, had just purchased the air rifle and was taking a 10-minute walk home from the store when the bag covering his air rifle blew off. A motorist called 911 saying they saw a man with what appeared to be a weapon but then stated to the 911 officer that it may be an air rifle, according to court records. McBean was eventually confronted by the Sheriff’s deputies Peter Peraza, Lt. Brad Ostroff and Sgt. Richard Laccera when he reached his apartment.

According to David Schoen, the attorney representing McBean’s family in the civil case against the defendants and Israel, witnesses at the scene said McBean’s air rifle was resting on his shoulders, with his arms slung over. McBean couldn’t hear the officers through the earbuds. According to witnesses and court records he eventually turned around and when he did, Peraza fired the shots that led to McBean’s death. Peraza, who had only been working as a deputy for a year, stated to the courts that he feared for his life.

“Approximately 66 BSO (Broward Sheriff’s Office) deputies and other employees, including supervisory personnel were arrested for, charged with, and/or convicted of crimes that run the gamut from Armed Kidnapping, to Battery, Assault, Falsifying records, Official Misconduct, Narcotics trafficking, and other crimes involving dishonesty and violence in the years immediately proceeding 2013 when Jermaine was killed. Most of the offenses on the list occurred in the years 2012-2013,” according to court records filed by Schoen against Israel and the Broward County Sheriff deputy defendants.

“Often the cases against BSO (Broward Sheriff’s Office) employees are resolved by guilty pleas resulting in short or no period of incarceration and a chance for the criminal record to be cleared after a period of time.”

Broward County Sheriff’s office could not be reached immediately for comment.

Israel is always shifting blame and the “buck never stops with him”

Three months after the shooting, Israel awarded two of the deputies the BSO’s prestigious “Gold Cross Award.” But under mounting criticism he later told reporters the deputies should not have received the awards, adding that he didn’t award the deputies but couldn’t investigate the matter because someone accidentally destroyed the paperwork, as reported.

Peraza was finally suspended more than two years after McBean’s killing when he finally was indicted for homicide, Schoen and court records state.  A local judge dismissed the indictment on stand your ground, allowing the deputy to avoid a jury trial but the Florida Supreme Court, however, has taken the case on review and has vacated the lower court’s order, according to Schoen and recent reports.

The criminal section of the Department of Justice’s civil right’s division now has an open investigation into McBean’s death, Schoen said. Israel is always shifting blame and the “buck never stops with him,” Schoen said. The most current Brady list has not yet been made available and those numbers are expected to increase, he added.

PARKLAND, FL - FEBRUARY 15: Florida Governor Rick Scott,(R), and Broward County Sheriff, Scott Israel (L), walk up to the media to speak about the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed

He added that McBean’s family’s civil case against Israel clearly details the failed leadership under Israel.

Israel is named in Schoen’s lawsuit because he oversees “the training, hiring, retention, chain of command, supervision, disciplining, and firing.”  He is named based on “supervisory liability, his policies, and for being directly a part of the cover-up through the award process and failure to discipline, thereby ratifying and encouraging in the future this kind of conduct and an environment that rewards it,” Schoen said.

Israel also spoke openly about the McBean case to the media and Schoen said Israel “misled the public as to the true facts surrounding the case,” according to the court documents.

Republican Florida Gov. Rick Scott was urged by 73 colleagues Sunday to suspend Israel.

“Sheriff Israel failed to maintain a culture of alertness, vigilance and thoroughness amongst his deputies,” said Florida House Speaker Richard Corcoran, in a letter released Sunday.

Updated: Note this story was changed to reflect that 40 of the 66 investigations occurred under Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel.

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66 Comments

  1. Yesterday I saw a picture of their department, maybe Sherriffs, standing in front of a Boward County custom Lamborghini. Seems silly and unprofessional to me.

  2. There is always a culture of corruption anywhere Democrats have a stronghold. When I saw the picture of Sheriff Israel posing with Hillary Clinton, my immediate thought was, “How long until we find out the Broward County Sheriff’s office is involved in underage sex-trafficking?” Is there a suspiciously high volume of unresolved missing teen cases in Broward County?

  3. That is actually not that uncommon. Certain drug trafficking laws allow Law Enforcement to seize property, like vehicles from drug dealers.

    Sometimes they show them off and make them police cars to show the drug dealers that if they get caught, they will lose a lot more than just 72 hours and some legal fees.

  4. This is one clear instance of where and how we must begin to clean up the corruption that plagues our city, state, and federal bureaucracies. It is evident that Sheriff Israel has been less than forthcoming from the beginning and, as attorney Schoen highlights, has a propensity to put the blame elsewhere. Too many “public servants” have come to believe that they are entitled to enjoy the benefits of their position without taking the accompanying responsibility that is part and parcel. You don’t get one without the other. Let’s clean house before we can even hope to clean the swamp. Thank you, Sara, for your unwavering diligence in reporting stories such as this.

  5. Voters will ultimately decide on their next sheriff. Hopefully, they read, realize the importance of reports like Sara’s, and make a good decision.

  6. Knock! Knock! “Who’s there?
    Answer: Emersom”.
    Reply:: “Emersom who”?
    Emersom nice Boobs you got there!

  7. He should also be investigated with his ties to CAIZr. This was a setup. He knew the murderers history and used him as a scapegoat. He needs to be fired. NOW

  8. Actually, I’m kind of shocked! I just heard him the other night commending himself for his “amazing leadership” (his words).

  9. Sheriff Is real is a Muslim and several of his deputies are also. Doesn’t surprise me one bit about the corruption in his department. If you don’t believe me there is a you tube video of him and his deputies in the Mosque passing the congregation and talking in Arabic.

  10. Most departments are self insured so they don’t have to pay crazy fees. Cars like these are for PR only. Most likely it was loaned for a photo op or the like.

  11. Sheriff Israel was Chief of North Bay Village PD from 2004 to 2007…
    I know that township well, having gone to Treasure Island Elementary many years ago and a number of my school friends lived on that island…
    One thing for sure, and it’s public record, the local govt officials and police dept have for decades and still does, have problems with corruption and ineptness…
    Israel fit right in…

  12. Everything done under Israel’s leadership is dirty. Sounds like the mafia has been reborn under him. Great reporting Sara! You’re my new favorite reporter.

  13. Funny you should say that about child trafficking; Official witness for the International Investigation Commitee, Timothy Holmseth’s investigation into child trafficking involves Brower county and Sheriff Israel…

  14. I am thoroughly convinced that if you scratch beneath the surface, you’ll find corruption throughout all levels of government across all of South Florida.
    With such an oblivious constituency, you can smell it in the air.

    Doesn’t that corrupt biddy Debra Wasserman-Schultz hail from South Florida, spun out of the same cloth. Who else elects liberal con artists like these?

  15. Asset forfeiture laws are unconstitutional if they allow forfeiture to occur PRIOR to (due process) conviction of a crime.

  16. In Florida Sheriffs are ELECTED and that leads to hiring of Deputies and Administrative staff in accord with traditional political patronage that politicians engage in, rather than policing and administrative experience and qualification. Broward’s Sheriff is known to be a political animal!

  17. Liberals are always impressed with themselves first, second and last. Scotty Israel, the misplaced New Yorker, and Liberal Muffin with a badge, is to blame. The FBI most likely investigated claims about the shooter and found little to go on, but the Sheriff, he had almost as many calls to investigate the shooter, and did nothing. About as much as his deputies did when the shooter was actually doing the things he said he would do and the students feared he would do. Meanwhile, L’il Soy Boy Davy Hoggy (my what an odd shaped noggin on that boy) blames the Governor from Tallahassee? You can tell he’s an ” I know, I know” kid who thinks they know everything due to a coddled upbringing, but, seriously, before this kid irritates the the wrong person with his flippant remarks about out living them, he should proceed with caution around adults, some may take his phrases as an affront to disrespecting his elders and get a spanking….

  18. Pls Sheriff Israel do the right thing and resign immediately . You are responsible for the actions of your officers .

  19. When mass numbers of innocent bystanders are forced to stand on runways in the hot sun for hours. Many disabled, elderly and those with chronic medical needs and new mothers carrying infants.These individuals were denied access to WATER, PRESCRIBED INSULIN OR MEDICATIONS, FOOD, COMMUNICATIONS AND NEWS. UNDER THREAT OF ARREST ??… THE INNOCENT DETAINED SUDDENLY FOR HOURS LONG MUST HAVE BASIC HUMAN NEEDS PROVIDED FOR.. BEFORE THEY BECOME A MEDICAL EMERGENCY THEMSELVES. . DOZENS OF MEDICAL EMERGENCIES DEVELOPED FOR NO REASON AT THE FT. LAUDERDALE AIRPORT, we can do better… Dr. Kent L. Gilpin., Miami Dade First Responders Group

  20. There is evidently a lot of there there where bad Broward County Sheriffs is concerned.

    But where the shooting of the guy carrying the air gun is concerned, I’m a little sympathetic to the perception of the Sheriff who shot in fear of his life.

    That Sheriff had no way of knowing if the gun was real or not.

    Walking down the street in Broward County with what looks like a real rifle and wearing ear buds is just dumb.

    There may be facts in the shooting that point to the Sheriff over reacting, but Sarah did not include them.

    There were many examples of problems in the Broward County Sheriff’s Dept., Sara did not have to include this shooting where it’s the guy with the air-gun was really negligent.

  21. Makes me want to puke every time I see this Sheriff defend himself and his dept.about all those previous phone calls made at the Cruz home! This pathetic POS says there were only 19 calls not 29 like the lying media was saying? TRUTH IS there were 45 calls made to BSO from the Cruz home! One of the latest calls stated if you don’t do anything with Nikolas can you Please come here and take away all these Guns he has! And for the 45th.time BSO did NADA.

  22. Dr Gilpin, I believe you may need to slow down and think about the words you want to use and what effect they will have on the communications you’re attempting. A little extra work on punctuation wouldn’t hurt either.
    ( another hint: ALL CAPS means you’re yelling )

  23. This article seems to include references to a report that came out in 2014. If that’s the case, then these numbers should be referred to in the past.

    For instance the statement made: “Since 2012 there have been more than 66 investigations…” would be better and more accurate if stated as “Between 2012 and 2014 there have been more than 66 investigations…”.
    It’s very likely that there have been more investigations since 2014 which would make the numbers much more alarming.

  24. When things like this happen everyone looks to hold someone responsible. Let’s see how the real investigation, sans the ever present media hype, plays out. That aside, I would not want to be in this man’s shoes. This will most likely go down in history as one of the most egregious law enforcement screw ups that cost the lives of 17 people, 14 of whom were children. God rest their souls. ?

  25. Good reminder!
    How convenient the radio system failed the same way at the school shooting.
    You’d almost think the Sheriff didn’t want any recordings made…(dispatch is always recorded for later evidence and internal investigations).
    Coupled with the statements that the four deputies cowering outside were told to stand-down because their body cameras were not working…
    And the security cams were on a 20 min delay to permit review and deletion, and something stinks bad at Broward Schools, and BCSO.

  26. Ditto.Speaking from recent experience most of them are lazy.You can show them drugs in front of their faces and they will tell you they are not there for that.Too lazy to write a report.

  27. Thank You Sara! Extraordinary timing and excellent reporting! Please do follow-up on this dirtbag sheriff because I don’t believe the MSM will say a peep about this.

  28. This NYC Yankee Bastard ought to be jailed! He a F disgrace to law enfoecement and he’s a yellow punk too!!

  29. Of course Broward Co. is a mess. It’s a huge Democrat stronghold in FL. Just go back to the 2016 election and listen to the MSM anxiously awaiting votes out of Broward Co., in hopes that Hillary would win FL. If memory serves me correctly, through the years Broward always has a lot of voting ‘irregularities’ and the woman in charge is never fired. I don’t like bringing politics into such a horrible situation — but you know the Dems would and have in the past.

  30. Sara — Have you looked into the Promise Program initiated by Obama and Holder? Rush has been talking about this and it may be why no reports were filed on Cruz when they were called to the house so many times. The program was intended to keep minorities from getting a record and going to jail, but had to be extended to whites also.

  31. You are being to kind to the demented anti-semite puke ! I can’t say what i really think about the low life POS because i don’t wish to be banned on this site !

  32. Sure thing mr. sheriff’s deputy i believe everything you say ! Because no L.E.O. in the entire history of Law Enforcement has ever done anything wrong, made a mis-judgement, or told a lie !

  33. Excellent reporting, Ms. Sara A. Carter.

    Thank you. We’ll take it from there.

  34. They can seize property from anyone, even if they’ve broken no laws. Don’t believe me? Look up civil forfeiture.

  35. I do cams for a school district.
    There is no such thing as a “20 minute delay”. Likely these are IP cams and the data is on the server instantly. In fact, we buffer so that if there is a trigger – like motion detection – we can preserve the moment before the trigger. In affect, every second is on the server, then the server software decides if it should be saved or ignored.

    The only way to get a “20 minute delay” is to call up the archive for 20 minutes ago and play it at normal speed…. therefore you are looking at the past not the present. AND the time stamp is always shown so everyone watching would see the wrong time.

  36. As with other school shootings, there are questionable circumstances, which make me suspect that someone or some ones wanted this school shooting to occur. Could it be possible that members of the FBI “groomed” Nikolas Cruz to carry out the shooting? Or could he have been under some type of mind control, or electronic influence? I have no doubt that there is an agenda, or plan, to disarm the American people, and this shooting suits the agenda. A young man like Nikolas Cruz who apparently has serious mental problems (maybe is on the autism spectrum) does not belong in a public school, but should be in a mental health facility, or at least should be strictly supervised. The couple he was staying with knew that he had a gun. Things just don’t add up–that there were so many indications that he might become a school shooter and the FBI did not follow through, and then the sheriff’s deputies not going immediately into the school. One or two students said there was more than one shooter.
    Another strange thing is that one of Sheriff Israel’s deputies, Nezar Hamze, was connected with CAIR, an American-Islamic Relations group, which was said to have ties with Hamas, a terrorist group. I saw an article from 2015 stating that Hamze had carried out weapons training of people in a mosque in Tampa, Florida.

  37. This is possible. There was a video of a woman teacher who shepherded students into her classroom for safety during the shooting. She said that she saw the shooter (or a shooter), about 20 feet from her, and she thought, “What, the police are here?” There was a barrage of bullets. Apparently she thought the shooter looked like a policeman; she said he was in full body armor, with a face mask and helmet, and carrying a kind of gun she had never seen before. I don’t think that Nikolas Cruz could have gone into the school carrying a lot of equipment like that and changed into body armor, etc., without anyone noticing or stopping him. Also, there was a video showing three or four policemen leaving the school carrying a large dark bag, which looked heavy, and putting it into the back of a white truck.

  38. Sara, I’m wondering if Broward County, Florida is 1 of the touted 53 jurisdictions supporting AND implementing the Obama Admin. & Loretta Lynch program (supporting U.N. requirements) in the Police Dat Iniative (PDI) that is implemented in “at least” 53 of the nations largest/heaviest Democratic “strongholds” ? As “you” are well aware, Obama’s efforts to destroy and or alter American; values, freedoms, rights, & ideals, by “re-writing” rules for various agencies throughout the government AND developed “partnerships” with many organizations – that shared his views of Communism, Marxism, Socialism, with Sharia laws,. Do you think that Jeff Sessions (Justice Department) is actively investigating “these jurisdictions” that are side-stepping and
    circumventing our legal system? Previous Sessions indicated he was “reducing” the PDI efforts/effects, but, I’m wondering why nobody “outside the government” is being charged either ? Any ideas ? – Howard

  39. Sarah everybody knows that the Deep state did that s*** the teacher even got on TV and said someone with a full body police gear Shot her

  40. You are correct I have many flaws. I have been much better at saving lives for the last 48 years and my eyesight is failing . Also, I do not understand computers and I was raised to believe that people are more important than things (or punctuation ) . God bless you… Dr Kent L Gilpin

  41. And you, ( the blessing part ). I know what you mean about the computers!
    Thanks! ( for the reply – and your work )

  42. Thank you for all your hard work. Deepest appreciation.
    What is the background of this sheriff. Where did he previous work, political standing. How many time has this sheriff gone to the Obama White House?
    Etc

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