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Florida sheriff says only one deputy at fault in Parkland school shooting

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Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel

Only one sheriff’s deputy failed to stop the gunman who killed 17 people at a Florida high school, the Broward County sheriff said on Sunday, dismissing reports that other deputies did not enter the school during the attack as unverified.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel also said his department acted properly in at least 16 of the 18 calls it received before the massacre, warning that Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect, was dangerous.

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Israel rejected a call for his resignation from a state legislator and defended his department on the CNN program “State of the Union” on Sunday from criticism that deputies missed warning signs about Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida.

Governor Rick Scott on Sunday asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the law enforcement response to the shooting, his office said in a statement, adding that the department would begin the probe immediately.

Authorities accuse Cruz of opening fire with an AR-15 semiautomatic rifle on Feb. 14, killing 14 students and three faculty members.

The shooting reignited an intense debate about gun safety laws, with Stoneman students emerging as national voices calling for gun control. They have challenged the National Rifle Association, a politically powerful defender of the U.S. constitutional right to bear arms.

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Israel has acknowledged that an armed deputy assigned to the school, Scot Pederson, remained outside during the seven minutes that Cruz was inside the school.

Pederson resigned after he was suspended with the intent to fire him, Israel said.

News organizations, including CNN and NBC, have reported that at least three other Broward deputies also failed to enter the campus during the shooting, citing unnamed sources from the Coral Springs Police Department, which also responded.

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“Our investigation to this point shows that during this horrific attack, while this killer was inside the school, there was only one law enforcement person, period, and that was former deputy Scot Pederson,” Israel said.

Israel did not rule out that the investigation could find other deputies who were guilty of dereliction of duty.

The sheriff’s office is also investigating whether it missed danger signs about Cruz from two phone calls warning he might be dangerous, Israel said. Proper steps were taken after 16 other calls about Cruz.

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The Federal Bureau of Investigation also said it failed to follow proper protocols after it received a tip that Cruz possessed a gun, had indicated the desire to kill and could potentially commit a school shooting.

FBI officials have told families of victims they “deeply regret” their mishandling of the matter.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta in New York; Editing by Jeffrey Benkoe)

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Connecticut town’s KKK history recalled ahead of controversial upcoming GOP event

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The town of Shelton, Connecticut was brutally whacked for its history of racism ahead of a Connecticut Republican Party event.

"Fun fact. In the 1980s, the Imperial Wizard (the national leader) of the Ku Klux Klan lived in Connecticut," columnist Colin McEnroe noted in The Middletown Press.

The host of WNPR's "The Colin McEnroe Show" explained how James Farrands ran the KKK out of his garage in Shelton.

"This may be an unfair memory to bring up, right when Shelton is having another bad run. In recent weeks, the school system there had to deal with a Snapchat pic of a student in blackface lifting both middle fingers and using a common distasteful racial epithet," McEnroe explained.

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Vladimir Putin helped convince Trump to sour on Ukraine: report

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Russian Federation President Vladimir Putin successfully convinced President Donald Trump to turn on Ukraine according to a bombshell new report published by The Washington Post on Monday.

"President Trump’s effort to pressure Ukraine for information he could use against political rivals came as he was being urged to adopt a hostile view of that country by its regional adversaries, including Russian President Vladi­mir Putin," the newspaper reported, citing "current and former U.S. officials."

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Trump is ‘phony president’ who must immediately be removed from office: Ethics watchdog Richard Painter

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The former chief White House ethics lawyer in the George W. Bush administration argued President Donald Trump must be immediately removed from office during a Monday appearance on MSNBC "The Beat."

Guest anchor Ayman Mohyeldin played a clip of Trump saying the emoluments clause of the United States Constitution is "phony."

"What other parts of the Constitution are phony?" Painter wondered. "The First Amendment? Freedom of the press? The impeachment clause of the Constitution? He is going to find out than one soon. The 25th Amendment, is that phony? The 25th Amendment that empowers the cabinet and Congress to remove a president who is psychologically unstable, unfit for office? He wants to say the Constitution is phony."

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