The Latest: Florida sheriff fights accusations of negligence

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — The Latest on a Senate hearing reviewing the suspension of a Florida sheriff who oversaw the Parkland shooting response (all times local):

7 p.m.

The Florida sheriff who oversaw the response to the Parkland school shooting is fighting for his job in front of state lawmakers.

Suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel testified Tuesday during a state Senate hearing.

Gov. Ron DeSantis suspended Israel three days after taking office in January, saying the response to the Parkland massacre showed incompetence and neglect of duty. But Israel says neither was true, bristling at the notion that anyone would call him incompetent or negligent.

Israel also rejected claims that he was to blame for the chaos that broke out after a shooting at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood airport in 2017. He says he is proud of how law enforcement responded to the situation and said chaos is inevitable when there are “20,000 people running haphazardly.”

Israel will continue testifying Wednesday.


12:15 p.m.

A lawyer says Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ decision to suspend the sheriff who oversaw the response to the Parkland school shooting was a knee-jerk reaction based on politics.

Those comments came Tuesday at the beginning of a Senate hearing as Scott Israel fights his suspension as Broward County sheriff.

Israel’s lawyer, Benedict Kuehne, said DeSantis promised to remove Israel even before he was elected in November and did so before the state’s top law enforcement agency finished investigating the response to the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 dead.

DeSantis’ lawyer, Nicholas Primrose, said Israel failed to properly train deputies for active shooting situations. Primrose said 13 months earlier the department’s response to a shooting at a Fort Lauderdale airport led to chaos. That shooting left five dead.

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