February 23, 2018

LA Times Editor Has ‘Some Sympathy’ for Resource Officer Who Didn’t Try to Stop Nikolas Cruz

Many people failed the students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida before Nikolas Cruz’s massacre last week. Someone also failed them during the attack: armed Resource Officer Scot Peterson, who, according to Broward County’s sheriff, “never went in” to try to stop Cruz, instead remaining outside “upwards of four minutes.” In a Thursday afternoon tweet, a Los Angeles Times editor expressed “some sympathy” — for Peterson. She later doubled down, dragging in the NRA while excusing cowardice.

As reported at Florida’s Sun-Sentinel:

The police officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School resigned Thursday, under investigation for failing to enter the building as a gunman opened fire and killed 17 people.

Sheriff Scott Israel said Deputy Scot Peterson should have “went in. Addressed the killer. Killed the killer.” Video footage showed Peterson did none of that, Israel said.

… The sheriff said Peterson was outside the building for “upwards of four minutes” while students were gunned down inside.

Peterson resigned, and subsequently retired, at 12:37 p.m. Thursday after he was suspended without pay earlier in the day, Israel said.

Peterson was a 33-year police force veteran, and was the high school’s resource officer for nine years.

LA Times op-ed editor Juliet Lapidos sympathized with Peterson’s cowardice:

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“Brett T” at Twitchy thought that Lapidos “might be only person feeling sympathy” for Peterson. Sadly, no — and not only because of the 124 likes seen above as of 10:30 p.m. ET Thursday.

A teacher claims that Peterson, in the Sun-Sentinel’s words, “wouldn’t have stood a chance against the gunman in hallways that were filled with students,” and, in her words, “I don’t know what he could have done other than literally died.”

That’s ridiculous. As a local Florida TV station’s reported, he should have been “doing what he had been paid and trained to do” instead of “taking cover to protect himself.” At the very least, Peterson could have helped more kids escape, drawn Cruz’s attention, reduced the time he had to kill innocents, and made him realize that any shot taken at someone other than his armed attacker would leave him vulnerable.

Minutes later, Lapidos used Peterson’s cowardice to argue that arming adults, as the NRA recommends, won’t solve matters (so, apparently, why try?):

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Lapidos would possibly have a point if the nation has turned into a collection of cowards. Several self-sacrificing heroes, including football coach Aaron Fels, who died shielding students with his body, and JROTC student Peter Wang, who died helping classmates escape, say otherwise.

Lapidos later complained about the outrage directed at her:

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Good Lord, did she expect a gold star for insight?

Scot Peterson swore a duty to serve and protect. His failure to protect the children in his charge will haunt his community for many years to come.

I hope Juliet Lapidos never faces mortal danger from a cold-blooded killer. But if she does, I’m sure she hopes that the person who should be trying to save her isn’t another Scot Peterson.

Cross-posted, with possible revisions, at NewsBusters.org.

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