A police officer, armed with a gun, froze in the line of duty during the 2018 school shooting at Marjory Stoneman High School in Parkland, Florida. The massacre killed 17 students and faculty. In the face of gunfire coming from inside the school, a school deputy, Scot Peterson, remained outside the school with a gun. He never went inside the school to protect and perhaps save lives. He was the only person initially on the school with a gun. Now Peterson is charged with 3 counts of culpable negligence, one count of perjury and 7 counts of neglect of a child. If convicted of all counts, he could land in prison for 96 years.
According to video, it appears that Peterson took the coward’s way out. The real question is whether he can be legally found guilty of culpable negligence—a charge routinely reserved for parents, caregivers, day care providers and others similarly situated. Police are usually charged for acts that they did.
While I am usually an outspoken critic of law enforcement when they commit egregious acts, I find this case to be stretching the law.
In an interview on Cheddar TV today, Debbie Hines breaks down the legal arguments in favor of the defense.