MIAMI (AP) — Officials were so concerned about the mental stability of the student accused of last month’s Florida school massacre that they decided he should be forcibly committed.
But the recommendation was never acted upon.
A commitment under the law would have made it more difficult if not impossible for Cruz to obtain a gun legally.
Cruz is accused of the shooting rampage that killed 14 students and three school employees at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland on Feb. 14. In addition, 17 people were wounded.
But more than a year earlier, documents in the criminal case against Nikolas Cruz and obtained by The Associated Press show school officials and a sheriff’s deputy recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be involuntarily committed for a mental evaluation.
I am not surprised and I actually I was expecting this. But the next part opens more questions than gives answers.
The documents were provided by a psychological assessment service initiated by Cruz’s mother called Henderson Behavioral Health. The documents show a high school resource officer who was also a sheriff’s deputy and two school counselors recommended in September 2016 that Cruz be committed for mental evaluation under Florida’s Baker Act. That law allows for involuntary commitment for mental health examination for at least three days.
Why did the Deputy did not start the Baker Act Procedures? LEOs can get it started if they see a suspect that can be a danger to himself or others. And if he wanted to commit Cruz via Baker Act, how come it did not happen? Was it laziness or orders not to upset the statistical apple cart with a bad entry?
More and more convincing evidence is coming out that this was a preventable event, something that does not happen often. And instead of going after those who failed on their duties and pass legislation that prohibits the doctoring of school crime and violence records, citizens in the Sunshine State got shafted by a weak-kneed GOP and a Governor who probably got advised by a former Jeb Bush electoral advisor that signing the legislation would make him the next U.S. Senator for the state of Florida.