Law and Legal

Parkland Survivors File Civil Rights Lawsuit Against LEOs and Other Officials

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(Fabrice Florin)

PARKLAND, Fla. – Parkland survivors have filed a lawsuit. More than a dozen students who survived the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging that numerous officials failed to stop the Valentine’s Day massacre at their school.

Florida School Massacre
On February 14, 2018, a mass shooting occurred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Tragically, 17 people were killed and 17 more were wounded. (Photo courtesy forulaone)

The lawsuit names Broward County, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, Broward County Public Schools Superintendent Robert Runcie, Broward County sheriff’s deputy and school resource officer Scot Peterson, Capt. Jan Jordan with the Broward County Sheriff’s Department and school security monitor Andrew Medina among the defendants, reported ABC 13 Eyewitness News.

The lawsuit alleges various civil rights violations under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendments that caused “severe psychological injury and trauma” related to the Feb. 14 mass shooting that left 17 students and faculty members dead.

According to the suit, Runcie and Israel were “both well aware of the potential danger [suspect Nikolas Cruz] posed to the school and its students and faculty, yet they did nothing meaningful to enhance security from this known threat.”

Parkland survivors
More than a dozen Parkland survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School have filed a civil rights lawsuit alleging that numerous officials failed to stop the Valentine’s Day massacre at their school.
(Photo courtesy Fabrice Florin/Flicker)

Plaintiffs claim that Peterson, Jordan and Medina’s actions and inactions during the course of their response to the shooting directly led to the death, injury and traumatizing of children, and they blame the county for a lack of training and preventative policies that could have stopped the shooting, according to the report.

“Numerous failures by numerous government actors, including law enforcement, strongly continued to Shooter’s ability to [carry out] this horrific attack, without which this attack could not have happened,” the plaintiffs allege.

Moreover, the suit also details an incident hours before the shooting in which an unnamed student, who is a minor, was allegedly detained by Peterson and subjected to an unlawful search and seizure after he was accused of selling drugs. As a result, plaintiffs allege that Peterson’s “fundamental lack of knowledge of such basic constitutional rights” that led to the alleged search was representative of “Broward County’s failure to adequately train Peterson before putting him in the position in which he was placed by the defendant County.”

Former Broward County Deputy
This frame from the school security video of Feb. 14, 2018 released by the Broward County Sheriff’s Office shows Deputy Scot Peterson, right, outside Majory Stoneman Douglas High School, Parkland, Fla. The video released March 15, shows Peterson going toward the high school building while a gunman massacred 17 students and staff members, but remained outside with his weapon drawn. (Broward County Sheriff’s Office)

“The goal of this lawsuit is to ensure that this never happens again and that law enforcement is aware that we are expecting them to be heroes. That’s their job,” an attorney representing the students said at a news conference. “If they choke and they cause people to die, they will have to face the music.”

Each one of the plaintiffs was on school property during the shooting, though they escaped physical harm. Consequently, they are seeking “full and fair compensatory damages in an amount to be determined by a jury” in addition to punitive damages and attorney’s fees.

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1 Comment

The big green monster(greed) strikes again. You people are bitching lack All this lawsuit does is costs valuable money that should be used to improve preventative programs, and better training for law enforcement. Funding is a big part of why there are not better services for mental health and those in need of treatment as well as security for our schools. Take more money from this lawsuit and it will only get worse. You all should be ashamed of yourselves. You cant have your cake and eat it too.

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