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Two SWAT officers chose to respond to the Parkland shooting without orders - they've been punished and removed from their SWAT team
In the aftermath of the Parkland school shooting, one thing became clear. In the months leading up to the attack, there was a steady stream of failures - at almost every imaginable level - that allowed the killer to set the stage for his grotesque crime. Then, once the shooter triggered his plan, law enforcement seems to have decided that "doing nothing" was the best course of action.
By now, we've all heard stories about the inaction of the Broward County Sheriff's department and multiple armed officers standing around as the gunfire raged. And we've all thought "If only someone had decided to take action."
Well, guess what. Someone did. ...And they've been punished for it.
From the Miami Herald:
As word spread that an armed attacker was shooting up a Parkland high school, two members of the Miramar Police Department’s SWAT team responded to the scene.
They had been training in nearby Coral Springs earlier that day and wanted to help end a deadly mass shooting that claimed 17 lives.
Unfortunately, attempting to save children’s' lives was a big no-no. Their commander was not informed of their decision and was worried that their presence could interfere with the Broward County Sheriff's department strategy of "wait outside and do nothing." These are important issues concerning jurisdiction, which is apparently more important than rescuing kids.
Because of their shameful rule-breaking, the two Miramar SWAT members have been removed from the team.
“Effective immediately you have been suspended from the SWAT Team until further notice,” wrote Capt. Kevin Nosowicz, the unit’s commander, in a Feb. 22 memo obtained by the Miami Herald through a public records request. “Please make arrangements with the training department to turn in your SWAT-issued rifle.”
The human urge to aid in a disaster is strong. But it can also run counter to police training. Too much response to a mass casualty situation can create confusion and hinder responders, as recent mass shootings have shown, according to Pat Franklin, a retired Miami Beach police detective.
“This is not their area, this is not their jurisdiction,” said Franklin, who consults with law enforcement agencies on internal affairs investigations. “You don’t want to let those guys loose into something that’s chaotic where they might take inappropriate action. It is prudent to have them stand down unless there is a plan.”
Again, that plan appears to have been: "Wait until the shooter is finished murdering children, then clean up the mess." God forbid there be "too much response."
The Herald contacted the two officers, who could not comment.
Oh, and if you're a Miramar cop, please don't try to criticize your employers for their decision-making skills. If they see you posting things online that they don't like, well...you guessed it. That will get you suspended, too.
A third Miramar SWAT team member, Officer Kevin Gonzalez, was also temporarily suspended for his “direct connection” to online posts criticizing Miramar police after the shooting. A source familiar with the posts said they questioned why Miramar’s SWAT team was not sent to confront shooter Nikolas Cruz, and that they may have been made by Gonzalez’s girlfriend.
“These posts were found to have a negative connotation to our city and the Miramar Police Department,” stated a memo informing Gonzalez of his suspension.
Oh. A negative connotation about the police department. Got it. Wouldn't want that, now would we?