Florida Governor Ron DeSantis on Wednesday called for a state grand jury to investigate the 2018 school massacre in Parkland in which 17 people died, pledging accountability for any local failures that led to the deadliest U.S. high school shooting.
DeSantis, a Republican elected last fall after campaigning on the issue, petitioned the Florida Supreme Court for the investigation the day before the first anniversary of the Valentine’s Day massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He said the panel would review school safety statewide.
“They are going to have the power – subpoena and otherwise – to be able to get to the facts and get the truth,” DeSantis said at a news conference, flanked by the parents of slain students.
DeSantis said a grand jury would have broader authority than a state-appointed commission that also reviewed the shooting. Earlier this year, that panel issued a report finding cascading errors, from law enforcement officers holding back as shots were fired to lax school security enabling a former student with an AR-style semi-automatic rifle access to the campus.
Families in the Parkland community have raised concerns about how Broward County Public Schools prepared for student safety, as well as the district’s response to the shooting.
“When your child is murdered in school, you expect to get some answers,” said Andrew Pollack, whose daughter Meadow was killed at the school, speaking at the press conference.
DeSantis said he lacked the authority to remove Broward’s appointed schools superintendent. He noted that he did not find it appropriate to remove school board members who were recently re-elected after safety issues were raised during the campaigns.
Broward school superintendent Robert Runcie said he welcomed any review that could lead to improved school safety across the state.
“I agree with Governor DeSantis for wanting to know how all school districts in Florida manage money and security issues that impact school safety,” he said in a statement.
Last month, DeSantis suspended the Broward County sheriff who was also criticized for the law enforcement response to the shooting.
Reporting by Letitia Stein; Editing by Frank McGurty and James Dalgleish
Chicago Police Board president files complaint alleging he was struck 5 times by cops at George Floyd protest
On Friday, WTTW reported that Ghian Foreman, the president of the Chicago Police Board, has filed a complaint alleging he was beaten in the legs five times by police officers at a protest against the killing of George Floyd last Sunday.
The Chicago Police Board is an independent civilian commission that has power over police disciplinary cases.
"Foreman filed a complaint with the Citizens Office of Police Accountability alleging that he was struck by at least one officer during a protest sparked by the death of George Floyd in the custody of Minneapolis police, said Ephraim Eaddy, a spokesperson for the agency," said the report. "Foreman’s complaint, which identifies the officer Foreman said struck him, is one of 344 complaints of police misconduct filed with COPA between midnight May 29 and 7 a.m. Friday, Eaddy said. The complaint itself is confidential."
Kayleigh McEnany may have committed voter fraud by claiming parent’s Florida address when living in DC: report
White House press secretary Kayleigh McEnany has carried the flag for President Donald Trump's campaign against mail-in voting, delivering false warnings the process is rife with voter fraud. But McEnany herself may be guilty of the illegal act.
And so may be her boss.
"Kayleigh McEnany was living in Washington, but voted in Florida. Trump used an address he promised Palm Beach officials would not be a residence," HuffPost reports.
Derek Chauvin accused of illegally voting in Florida — where he was allegedly registered as a Republican
Former Minneapolis Police Officer Derek Chauvin has been accused of committing felony voter fraud in Florida.
Dan Helm, a candidate for Supervisor of Elections in Pinellas County, sent a letter to the State Attorney of Orange County outlining the allegations.
"I write to inform you that, Derek Chauvin, the police officer who killed George Floyd in Minnesota, voted in Orange County Floriday in 2016 and 2018 as a registered Republican," Helm wrote to Aramis Ayala.
He said he discovered the information in the voter file.
"While living in Minnesota, working there, paying taxes there, Derek Chauvin cannot claim residency in Orange County. His home, residency and where he intends to live is in Minnesota, not Florida," he charged. "This is a violation of our election laws, specifically Fla. Stat. 104.011 (2)."