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Florida governor vows to hold officials ‘accountable’ amid reports of planned suspension of sheriff

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Florida Governor Ron DeSantis pledged on Thursday to speak about government accountability at the headquarters of the Broward County sheriff, following speculation he would suspend the official over the police response to the Parkland mass shooting.

DeSantis planned to speak about “holding government officials accountable” on Friday in Fort Lauderdale, at the offices of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, DeSantis’ office said in a statement.

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The website Politico and the Miami Herald newspaper, citing unnamed sources, reported on Thursday that DeSantis planned to suspend Israel and replace him with a former police sergeant from the Broward County city of Coral Springs.

DeSantis, a Republican, while campaigning last year, had expressed interest in suspending Israel over the massacre at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, in which 14 students and three adults were shot to death by a lone gunman.

A spokesman for DeSantis declined to comment on media reports that the governor planned to suspend Israel.

DeSantis was scheduled to visit Broward County on Friday with the lieutenant governor and the state attorney general, who is the top law enforcement official in Florida.

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The Parkland massacre on Feb. 14, 2018 was the deadliest mass shooting at a high school in U.S. history.

Some parents of students at the high school have criticized Israel and called for his removal, according to local media.

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Some Broward County sheriff’s deputies held back too long as shots were fired at the school in the massacre, instead of rushing toward the gunfire, according to a 485-page report released last week by a state-appointed commission.

Broward County Sheriff’s Office training on active shooters was inadequate, according to the report, which also recommended arming teachers and spending more on school security and mental health to prevent similar mass shootings.

A spokesman for Israel could not be reached for comment on Thursday.
The sheriff, a Democrat, on Thursday tweeted a photo of himself at a desk, saying “still doing the job the voters of Broward County elected me to do!”

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Broward County sheriff’s deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned as the school’s resource officer, resigned last year. He was captured on video staying outside the school during the shooting, which lasted several minutes.

Israel, in an interview with CNN less than two weeks after the shooting, described himself as “disgusted” with Peterson’s performance but defended himself. “It’s not the responsibility of the general or the president if you have a deserter.”

Reporting by Alex Dobuzinskis in Los Angeles; Editing by Jacqueline Wong

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Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. Like you, we here at Raw Story believe in the power of progressive journalism — and we’re investing in investigative reporting as other publications give it the ax. Raw Story readers power David Cay Johnston’s DCReport, which we've expanded to keep watch in Washington. We’ve exposed billionaire tax evasion and uncovered White House efforts to poison our water. We’ve revealed financial scams that prey on veterans, and efforts to harm workers exploited by abusive bosses. We’ve launched a weekly podcast, “We’ve Got Issues,” focused on issues, not tweets. Unlike other news sites, we’ve decided to make our original content free. But we need your support to do what we do.

Raw Story is independent. You won’t find mainstream media bias here. We’re not part of a conglomerate, or a project of venture capital bros. From unflinching coverage of racism, to revealing efforts to erode our rights, Raw Story will continue to expose hypocrisy and harm. Unhinged from corporate overlords, we fight to ensure no one is forgotten.

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2020 Election

Democrats could flip the Texas state house in 2020 — and reshape the national map

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Blue Texas? Democrats have long dreamt of winning Texas’s 38 electoral votes in the presidential election. That may still be a long shot, but a recent “Texodus” from Congress has given new talk to a political transformation across the Lone Star State that could have massive ramifications down the ballot and for decades to come.

This article was originally posted at Salon.

Four of the state’s GOP members of Congress have announced their retirements in recent weeks, an unusual torrent of departures signaling that a storm is coming. And evidence shows that it’s not just hitting Texas’s federal delegation. It’s coming to Austin, too.

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‘There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there’: Joe Biden at Cape Cod fundraiser

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Former Vice President Joe Biden defended Republican lawmakers in DC as "decent people" during a campaign fundraiser held at Cape Cod.

"There’s an awful lot of really good Republicans out there," Biden argued, according to Washington Post reporter Matt Viser.

"I get in trouble for saying that with Democrats, but...every time we ever got in trouble with our administration, remember who got sent up to Capitol Hill to fix it? Me," he said.

”Because they know I respect the other team. I do. They’re decent people," Biden claimed. "They ran because they care about things, but they’re intimidated right now.”

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Neo-Nazi ‘Atomwaffen Division’ holding live-fire militia trainings at ‘The Base’ near Spokane: report

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One sign of the growing white nationalist crisis in America is a new outreach effort for paramilitary training.

"A neo-Nazi group focused on providing paramilitary-style training to far-right extremists has been conducting a massive recruitment drive and claims to have already conducted live-fire training with its members," Vice News reports.

"The Base, which is connected to extreme-right groups the Atomwaffen Division and the Feuerkrieg Division, has been promoting its growth on social media with photos announcing its presence in major cities across North America, including New York, Los Angeles, and Seattle, and in Europe, South Africa, and Australia," Vice reported. "The images often include a small contingent (typically one to three) of masked, camo-clad men holding weapons standing in front of The Base's flag, a black flag with three white lines running down the centre."

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