Former SRO Scot Peterson at the Marjory Stoneman-Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has been charged with 11 felonies: Child neglect (7 counts), culpable negligence (3 counts), and 1 count of perjury. His inaction on February 14, 2018, has resulted in charges being filed.
“The FDLE investigation shows former Deputy Peterson did absolutely nothing to mitigate the MSD shooting that killed 17 children, teachers and staff and injured 17 others. There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives.” Florida Department of Law Enforcement Commissioner Rick Swearingen
Scot Peterson, 56, was placed in the Broward Main jail with a bond of $102,000. He faces the possibility of 97 years in prison.
The Orlando Sentinel reported,
“Peterson’s arrest comes after a 15-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement and the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
“It’s never too late for accountability and justice,” Sheriff Tony said.
The investigation showed Peterson refused to investigate where the gunshots were coming from, retreated during the gunfire as victims were being shot, and directed other law enforcement who arrived on scene to remain 500 feet away from the building, FDLE spokeswoman Jessica Cary said in an emailed statement.
After being formally fired, (he had previously resigned as an SRO), Peterson was taken into custody. Another Broward County Deputy, Brian Miller, the first supervisor on the scene, was also terminated because he took time to put on his tactical vest and then hid behind his patrol car.
It’s the first time a police officer has been charged for failing to act in the face of a major incident. We get that he probably didn’t want to die, but when he was vilified by the media and people who were there, he justified his lack of action.
The Florida statute for Child neglect reads in part: “A person who willfully or by culpable negligence neglects a child and in so doing causes great bodily harm … commits a felony of the second degree.”
Featured photo: Scot Peterson mugshot via Broward County.