Families to get millions over FBI’s inaction in Parkland school massacre – because they knew he was going to attack

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PARKLAND, FL – On November 22nd, the families of the majority of those killed and injured in the 2018 Florida high school massacre announced that they had reached a multi-million dollar settlement with the federal government over the FBI’s failure to stop the gunman, despite receiving information that he planned to attack.

Attorneys representing 16 of the 17 people murdered and several of the injured at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland have announced a monetary settlement with the government for the FBI’s failure to investigate a tip received about a month before the shooting.

The 17th family decided not to file a lawsuit.

The lawyers stated the terms of the settlement are confidential, but a source close to families and also familiar with the proceedings indicated the government would pay them a total of $127.5 million.

Because they were not allowed to reveal the amount associated with the settlements, the individual requested anonymity.

Kristina Infante, the lead attorney representing the families in the matter, mentioned the following in a statement regarding the settlement:

“It has been an honor to represent the Parkland families who, through their immeasurable grief, have devoted themselves to making the world a safer place. Although no resolution could ever restore what the Parkland families lost, this settlement marks an important step toward justice.”

Andrew Pollack, whose 18-year-old daughter Meadow was killed in the Parkland shooting, applauded the FBI for accepting some culpability in the incident and agreeing on a settlement.

Having likened the FBI’s then-inaction regarding obtained intel to that of other failures by the Broward County school district and sheriff’s office, Pollack said that “The FBI has made changes to make sure this never happens again.”

The father of 14-year-old Gina Montalto, another of those slain during the Parkland massacre, said that no amount of money will ever be able to “replace my bright, bubbly and beautiful daughter.”

An FBI tip line got a call about five weeks before the February 14th, 2018, massacre, claiming that Nikolas Cruz, a former Stoneman Douglas student, had purchased firearms and intended to “slip into a school and start shooting the place up.”

The tipster added that he knew that Cruz was “going to explode.”

However, despite that tip coming to the FBI five weeks before the school shooting, none of that information was forwarded over to the FBI’s South Florida office – and Cruz was never contacted by authorities.

Cruz apparently had been expelled from the school the year prior to the shooting and had a documented history of behavioral and emotional problems.

This past October, Cruz pleaded guilty to 17 counts of first-degree murder.

The guilty pleas will pave the way for a penalty trial when a jury of 12 will decide whether Cruz should be sentenced to death or life in prison without the possibility of parole.

Because of the case’s publicity, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer intends to review thousands of potential jurors beginning January 4th, 2022.

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Broward County’s school superintendent arrested for perjury over Parkland massacre case

(Originally published April 23rd, 2021)

BROWARD COUNTY, FL – According to reports, the Broward County Schools’ superintendent and the school district’s chief lawyer were arrested on April 21st, with the Superintendent having been charged with perjury in an official proceeding and the school district attorney charged with unlawful disclosure of statewide grand jury proceedings.

Authorities took 59-year-old Superintendent Robert Runcie and 72-year-old school district General Counsel Barbara Myrick into custody on April 21st, with both of the individuals facing third degree felonies that are allegedly connected to official proceedings regarding the Parkland massacre from 2018.

Back in 2019, Florida Governor Ron DeSantis had impaneled a grand jury in response to the February 14th, 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School where 17 people were killed, and 17 others were wounded by a teenage gunman.

The initial purpose of this grand jury was an effort to review school safety in the wake of the tragic shooting, but over time the scope of the grand jury’s focus began to expand and included digging into areas of possible corruption and mismanagement within school district operations.

Law enforcement officials allege that Runcie had committed an act of perjury when delivering testimony to the grand jury on March 31st and April 1st of 2021. As for Myrick, authorities allege that she was improperly sharing grand jury information sometime between March 31st and April 14th of 2021.

While the indictments for the two individuals showcase the charges they are facing, the precise allegations regarding the suspected felonies committed during these proceedings are unclear due to these grand jury proceedings being held in secrecy.

As of this writing, even attorneys for the accused don’t exactly know the specifics around the alleged crimes committed by the two.  

Runcie’s attorney, Michael Dutko, claims his client doesn’t know what investigators believe he “lied about,” adding that all they have as of this time is the charges levied.

Myrick’s attorney, J. David Bogenschutz, says they haven’t even seen the physical indictment yet for Myrick:

“I’m actually very surprised that any indictment or any information is out there that the lawyers representing them don’t even know what it’s about. I can’t tell you what the [indictment] says or comment on what it means at this point.”

The Florida Attorney General’s Office did release news of the indictments but noted that they will not be providing any further information as of this time.

Runcie and Myrick are not the first school district employees arrested and charged in connection with these grand jury proceedings.

Back in January of this year, former chief information officer Tony Hunter was charged with bid rigging and bribery. Prosecutors note that in Hunter’s case, he had allegedly directed a $17 million contract to a vendor reportedly operated by a personal friend.

Hunter had entered a plea of not guilty regarding the January arrest and charge.

Following the arrests of both Runcie and Myrick, School Board Chairwoman Rosalind Osgood issued a statement noting that the school district would “operate as normal under the district’s leadership team,” while this matter is ongoing.

Osgood’s statement further noted that the school board “will provide transparency, accountability and integrity as we continue to focus on delivering the highest quality educational experience for our students, teachers and staff.”

Lisa Maxwell, from the Broward Principals and Assistants Association, also noted that the arrests of these two individuals are in no way going to adversely affect school operations, due to the fact that they are district employees and not school specific employees:

“The district provides support, but the principals manage the schools and will continue to do so.”

Runcie’s legal representation, despite knowing little about the specific allegations lodged against their client, released a statement in response to his arrest and charges that proclaimed this is some sort of politically motivated stunt:

“It is a sad day in Broward County and across Florida when politics become more important than the interests of our students.”

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Watch: Parkland school shooter attacks correction officer just months after being in jail

(Originally published July 16th, 2021)

FORT LAUDERDALE, FL- According to a video shown in court, accused Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz attacked a correction officer at the Broward County Jail in 2018, just months after the deadly mass shooting spree that left 17 dead.

The footage, which was posted on YouTube by Law & Crime, shows Cruz walking in circles in the jail cafeteria.

After several minutes, Cruz is then seen speaking to the officer, identified as Sgt. Raymond Beltran, who was sitting in the corner of the cafeteria. Watch below:

The November 13, 2018 video has no audio, but Cruz is seen giving the officer the finger before lunging at him and wrestling him to the ground while actively swinging at him.

Fox News reported that this 2018 video was played by prosecutors in court during Cruz’s first in-person court appearance since the COVID-19 outbreak.

During the 30-minute court appearance over battery and assault charges stemming from the jail altercation, Cruz sat quietly in his orange jumpsuit and restraints.

The Associated Press (AP) reported that the 2018 jail altercation is being tried separately from the first-degree murder case and the recent hearing on Wednesday, July 14th, was to determine whether prosecutors should have access to Cruz’s medical records.

Prosecutors stated that they need to review the records as Cruz’s attorneys have indicated their defense will be that Sgt. Beltran mistreated Cruz previously and provoked the attack. In reference to the 2018 jail altercation, Beltran reportedly told investigators he asked Cruz not to drag his feet and damage his sandals.

The video shows Cruz flip both middle fingers at Beltran and then him charging the officer, who stands up to defend himself. Cruz, who weighs about 130 pounds, was able to throw Beltran to the ground briefly before the officer was able to flip him over and briefly stabilize him to the ground.

Cruz was able to escape Beltran’s grip and both stood up into boxing stances.

Cruz swung at Beltran first, hitting him in the shoulder before the officer hits Cruz in the face. Beltran then pulls his stun gun and points it at Cruz, who gets on the ground. Cruz was then restrained with handcuffs.

The altercation lasted nearly 60 seconds. Prosecutor Maria Schneider told Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer that her team needs Cruz’s medical records from the time her arrived at the jail, stating that if Beltran previously mistreated him, those injuries, if any, might have been documented. 

David Wheeler, Cruz’s attorney, argued that Cruz’s medical records are private under state and federal law and that most prosecutors should only be allowed to see records of any examinations that happened within one day of the fight.

In the 2018 altercation, neither Cruz or Beltran appeared to suffer any serious injuries. Judge Scherer said she would rule on the prosecutor’s request by Friday, July 16th. 

As of this writing, no trial date has been set for either the assault or the murder cases. Cruz, who is now 22-years-old, faces a possible death sentence if convicted on the murder charges for one of the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history. 

His attorneys have said he would plead guilty to the murder charges in exchange for a life sentence. However, prosecutors have refused that plea bargain. 

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Editor note: In 2020, we saw a nationwide push to “defund the police”.  While we all stood here shaking our heads wondering if these people were serious… they cut billions of dollars in funding for police officers.  And as a result, crime has skyrocketed – all while the same politicians who said “you don’t need guns, the government will protect you” continued their attacks on both our police officers and our Second Amendment rights.

And that’s exactly why we’re launching this national crowdfunding campaign as part of our efforts to help “re-fund the police”.

For those looking for a quick link to get in the fight and support the cause, click here.

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