Do you want to know what annoys me more than a cowardly cop? A cowardly cop who claims he has no legal duty to act in an extreme situation.
That’s just what happened in a courtroom recently, where Deputy Scot Peterson, the cop who stood outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during an active shooter situation, and his lawyer, Michael Piper, told Judge Englander Henning: “We want to say [Peterson] had an obligation, but the law isn’t that. From a legal standpoint, there was no duty.”
The judge was quick to dismiss such a claim, saying that Peterson had an “obligation to act reasonably” regarding the shooting.
This is a wrongful death suit brought about by Andrew Pollack, whose daughter, Meadow Pollack, died along 16 other victims of the Parkland shooting.
Here’s a short run-down of the events that unfolded on the day of the shooting from the Deputy’s perspective, which was confirmed by Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel: Peterson radioed in that he was hearing gunshots. He was standing outside the building, listening to the shots, and radioed in “shots fired.” He had arrived on scene shortly after the attack started, but stood outside for five minutes until the attack concluded, according to Today.com.
Now, let me argue this particular point: I don’t blame Peterson for having been afraid in that situation, if he even was afraid. Anyone would be afraid in that situation and no one wants to be in such a situation. But bravery is not the absence of fear, it’s taking action despite fear. So Deputy Peterson was most definitely not brave in this situation, if he indeed was afraid, which I assume he was.
But that is one thing. It is an entirely different thing to argue in court that he has NO LEGAL DUTY to respond when he most definitely does! As a police officer, it’s 100% his DUTY to protect and serve. Such an idea is so important, it is often featured on the side of their vehicles. The guy’s lawyer is trying to point to a policy within Broward County’s active shooter situation which says that officers “may” engage in an active shooter scenario, not shall. Such a policy is horrendous and it is the antithesis of a police officer’s duty to protect the lives of civilians.
Now, Deputy Scot Peterson failed to perform his duty as a deputy of Broward County. And that’s bad, but what’s worse is the belief that he had NO legal responsibility to act in any way. This tells me he has absolutely no remorse about his inaction on the day of the shooting.
When something major happens, people tend to have regrets. “Maybe if I had done this instead” is a typical thought that goes through people’s heads. For him and his lawyer to argue that Peterson had no legal duty to act in that situation is horribly offensive (not the sissy Leftist use of the word. I mean actually offensive) and highlights his rottenness as a human being.
Again, if he failed to act because he was scared, that’s one thing. Someone who is a cop and is scared to do his job does not deserve the job. But someone who is a cop, is scared to do his job, and then argues that he has no obligation to do his job is someone who is seriously devoid of sympathy, remorse and most of all, a heart.
I get that he’s trying to protect himself in this lawsuit, but to argue he did not have to act WHEN ONE OF THE BIGGEST TASKS ENTRUSTED TO COPS IS TO ACT IN SUCH A SCENARIO is downright awful.
In articles where I talked about the shooting, I would sometimes blame the coward cop who stood outside doing nothing. Apart from blaming the FBI and County Sheriff’s office for not having followed up on serious threats, a big part of the blame fell on Peterson. Whenever I would blame him, I referred to him as the “coward cop”. Now, I can’t say the same.
Now, I call him the “evil cop”. Not acting in such a situation due to fear is understandable (of course, him being a cop, it was less understandable because cops are supposed to risk their very lives for others. They carry guns!). But I honestly have doubts on whether or not he was actually afraid. I argued earlier that he probably was, because anyone would be, but I’m not entirely sure. Because a coward will often feel remorse about their cowardice. The way this sounds, it appears to me that the cop wasn’t afraid, but apathetic.
He couldn’t care less about protecting others, which is why he doesn’t feel remorse over what he did. That much is evident by the fact he argues he had no responsibility to act when his job largely calls on him to act in such a situation.
Andrew Pollack, when he filed the suit, tweeted the following: “I filed a wrongful death suit against Deputy Peterson today. I want to expose that coward so bad. Wherever he goes, I want people to recognize him and say that’s one of the cowards of Broward. The SRO that let those children and teachers die on the 3rd floor!”
I totally understand why he’s saying this. Being a cop and not responding to an active shooter situation is cowardly. But again, I’m not so sure he was simply afraid.
Now, I could be totally wrong, of course. After all, I wasn’t there, I don’t know what went through his mind at the time, and I simply don’t know the guy personally. But his pathetic argument in the court room shows no sympathy for the victims that he failed to protect.
Again, cowards tend to feel remorse over their cowardice. A cop who could’ve done something but failed to do it tends to feel remorse over his inaction. Peterson could’ve done something to stop the shooter. Being a cop, he had a weapon with him, and this being a school and therefore a gun-free zone, he had the best chance at stopping the shooter before he could cause much more damage. That was his very duty. And not only did he fail to do it, have every opportunity in the world to do it, and even considerable time to do it, he does not even think he had any obligation to any of the 17 victims to try and go in and protect them. Not even TRY.
In one of the Batman films by Christopher Nolan, there is a very famous phrase that goes like this: “You either die a hero, or live long enough to see yourself become the villain.” I’m not saying Peterson should’ve died that day. I’m saying he had the duty to go in there and do something, even if it cost him his life, and he failed to do that. Actually, he didn’t fail to do that, because that would indicate some sort of intention to act. He DIDN’T WANT to do that. And now, he’s seeing himself become the villain in the eyes of the victim’s families, and many others.
Batman may have failed to save Rachel, but he was at least trying to save her. Peterson wasn’t even trying to help those kids and faculty, when he very easily could have.
And now, he says he had no duty to act? What a sick joke.
Here’s hoping Andrew Pollack wins the suit (which is pretty likely) and there is at least some justice for the Parkland victims.
“So whoever knows the right thing to do and fails to do it, for him it is sin.”
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