By Nick Givas
Published October 23, 2019
Florida Democratic senators who voted to reinstate suspended Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel should be ashamed of themselves for acting in favor of partisan politics, the brother of a Parkland shooting victim said on "Fox & Friends" Wednesday.
Hunter Pollack, whose sister Meadow was among the 17 people killed in the February 2018 high school shooting, said Israel's incompetence contributed to her death and lamented the behavior of the Democrats in the state legislature, who are fighting to reinstate him as sheriff.
"The sheriff has lied on multiple occasions. There was a magnitude of failures," he said. "I hope the Florida Senate does the right thing and upholds the suspension today."
"Eight deputies were outside while shots were being fired," Pollack added. "Something I'm so disgusted about the last few days is Florida Sen. Lauren Book, someone who has served on the MSD commission. [She] knew all the facts, watched my sister get murdered, but still voted to reinstate Sheriff Israel. She sold out the community of Broward county and put our children at risk."
Pollack also called out the four other Broward county senators who serve on the Rules Committee and claimed they were laughing, as parents were pleading with them to prevent Israel's reinstatement.
"Gary Farmer, Perry Thurston, Oscar Braynon, they were laughing. They were eating candy while these parents are begging them, 'Please vote in our favor,'" he claimed.
"To these Broward senators, it was just a joke," Pollack added.
The committee voted 9-7 along party lines not to reinstate Israel, with each Democrat voting in favor of Israel and each Republican voting against him. The full Florida Senate is expected to confirm the decision on Wednesday.
Pollack said the deputies who waited to enter the school showed cowardice and blamed Israel for instilling a culture of ineptitude in the sheriff's office.
"While shots were ringing out, deputies were taking time to put on their bulletproof vests and hiding behind concrete walls," he said. "But this is the culture that Scott Israel created in the Broward sheriff's office. I say, my sister became a victim of his deadly incompetence."
"My sister was shot four times," Pollack added. "But then after that, she shielded another student to protect her and that's when the killer sadly took both of their lives. My sister's my hero."
The suspension of Israel was one of the first actions taken by Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis upon taking office in January. Israel's lawyer, Ben Kuehne, said DeSantis' decision was political, noting that a Senate-appointed special master's investigation did not find institutional failures.
Israel has said he will run for sheriff again in 2020.