Doublethink: From George Orwell’s 1984, “is the act of holding, simultaneously, two opposite, individually exclusive ideas or opinions and believing in both simultaneously and absolutely.”
From The New York Times:
Deputy Who Stayed Outside During Parkland School Shooting Faces Criminal Charges
As bullets ricocheted and bodies fell in the hallways and classrooms at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School last year, Deputy Scot Peterson was outside the building. Instead of storming in after the 19-year-old gunman, he retreated to a position of safety.
For more than a year after the February 2018 attack in Parkland, Fla., grieving parents have demanded that Mr. Peterson — along with the gunman who killed 17 and injured 17 — be held accountable in what would prove to be one of the nation’s worst school shootings. On Tuesday, law enforcement responded with a sweeping list of charges that resulted in Mr. Peterson’s arrest. His alleged crime: failing to protect the students.
So far, all the same coverage of the chicken shot Scot Peterson’s failures to act on that fateful day.
America’s long history of mass shootings have brought a variety of responses: Calls for tighter gun laws, civil lawsuits against companies that manufacture guns and firearm components, collective mourning. But Tuesday’s charges represented a highly unusual case of a lawman arrested for failing to save lives.
Around Parkland, whose politically engaged students helped launch a national student movement for more gun control, there was both surprise and satisfaction.
The 15-month investigation by the Florida Department of Law Enforcement that led to the charges, found that the former Broward County sheriff’s deputy, assigned as a school resource officer to Stoneman Douglas High, “did absolutely nothing to mitigate” the shooting, the department’s commissioner, Rick Swearingen, said in a statement. “There can be no excuse for his complete inaction and no question that his inaction cost lives,” he said.
Keep that bolded part in your mind.
The Department of Law Enforcement said its inquiry showed that Mr. Peterson did not investigate the source of the gunshots, retreated during the shooting while victims were still under attack and directed other law enforcement officers to remain 500 feet away from the building.
The warrant portrayed Mr. Peterson, the only armed guard on campus, as an officer with a wealth of active shooter training who knew the gunman was inside, but did not go in to try to stop him as he killed and injured students and staff. It details a series of students and faculty who remembered seeing Mr. Peterson outside
The Broward State Attorney really wants to hammer home just how much of a gutless, chicken shit coward Peterson is, and how his chicken shit nature lead to so much needless death.
Jeff Bell, the president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, expressed concern about the decision to charge Mr. Peterson, who was not a member of his organization. He argued that prosecutors had adopted a sweeping interpretation of the state’s negligence law that could put other officers at risk of charges in the future.
“I am worried that state attorneys and political officers can start to weaponize criminal charges against law enforcement if you don’t meet their threshold for what you do or should not do,” said Mr. Bell, who said he and others were still disappointed by Mr. Peterson’s response to the shooting.
And maybe that is not such a bad idea. Remember in the Joe Lozito case, Maksim Gelman was spotted on a subway train by two NYPD officers who hid in the conductor’s cab until Gelman was tackled by Lozito after Gelman stabbed Lozito several times. The police, armed with guns, stood on the other side of a locked door and watched Lozito get stabbed by a man there was an active manhunt for and they did nothing.
Maybe, just maybe, there should be a standard for minimal law enforcement response.
I’m a PE, a licensed professional engineer. If I look at a drawing and see an error that is dangerous and say “fuck it, I’m not going to fix it” and people are hurt, I get to go to jail. I volunteered for that responsibility.
Maybe part of becoming a police officer is taking the responsibility of responding to a dangerous situation and being held liable if you fail to do so.
That principle exists in military law, it is Dereliction of Duty. That could at least be a starting point for a minimum standard for police. But this is not something for the courts to figure out, this is something for the state legislature to codify.
Here is where this story gets interesting.
*Trigger warning: if you are prone to heart attack or stroke, take a blood thinner before reading further.
Daniel Bishop, 17, who was a sophomore when the Parkland shooting took place and was one of dozens of students who traveled to the State Capitol afterward to demand changes to state gun laws, said he was surprised by the news of the former deputy’s arrest.
“It wasn’t his fault,” said Mr. Bishop, who will be a senior in the fall. “Who am I to place blame on anyone besides the one person who should be held accountable?”
What. The. Actual. Fuck. Is. That. Shit!?!
Bishop was one of the student activists that motivated the Florida State Legislature to collectively punish law abiding citizens with a rash of new gun laws.
He was part of the group that called the NRA and law-abiding gun owners murderers with blood on their hands.
He held people who did absolutely nothing in or around Parkland morally culpable for the shooting because of their political views and hobbies.
The actual School Resource Officer whose job it was to protect those kids, and failed to do that by hiding behind a tree like a chicken shit, according to this kid, he (the chicken shit Scot Peterson) is not culpable.
Whoever the fuck taught this kids logic and ethics failed. Flat fucking failed.
This is what politics as moral preening has wrought.
According to the activist, millions of NRA members who have never hurt anyone are more guilty for the deaths of 17 kids at a school shooting than the one armed man there tasked with preventing exactly that kind of situation who decided not to act instead.
This should be, for any rational person, the final nail in the coffin for any moral authority the Parkland kids might have had.
The doublethink here would make Big Brother proud.
9 thoughts on “Parkland Doublethink or how Marjory Stoneman Douglas failed its students”
I ain’t no lawyer but how can he face any criminal charges with qualified immunity and no duty to protect? I think hose are as horseshit as you but how are they going to charge him?
Just posted my views on that
I’ve said in other posts that he’s probably not going to get convicted of anything. Miguel and I are in agreement on that.
That is still different than moral culpability, which he has in spades.
My issue is that clearly Bishop doesn’t think that he has moral culpability either, but fought for a year to say that NRA members do.
That is the disconnect.
I’m in total agreement with you guys there; definitive double speak on the part of the kid, and peterson holds moral responsibility for sure.
I’m just astonished that someone is going to bother to try and convict him of something. It seems a pointless waste of time and money. It makes me think someone is doing it for a political purpose.
You might say that it will have the benefit of further hammering home how bs no duty to protect and qualified immunity is but that will not be the official take away and not the point played up by the media, and no one will see that.
J, it seems you consider the reaction of Bishop to be a teaching failure of ethics and logic. Another possibility is that it is a teaching success, of Marxist dialectics and Progressive Ethics.
“I’m a PE, a licensed professional engineer. If I look at a drawing and see an error that is dangerous and say “fuck it, I’m not going to fix it” and people are hurt, I get to go to jail.”
That is absolutely correct. However, the difference is that you personally are not required to place yourself in danger. What you are describing is a deliberate act of negligence. And, yes, criminal charges are warranted. It is no different than a doctor deliberately injecting people with a disease, or ignoring the fact that the needles, drugs, or blood he uses are tainted.
What happened with Peterson is that he evaluated the situation, decided that if he took action it would place him into an unacceptable level of danger, and chose to hide like a little girl frightened by a spider.
And, let’s be clear here. I am not defending someone who is tasked with patrolling and protecting a school, but decided to hide instead of doing their job. His actions are reprehensible. But, are they illegal? It is looking like these charges are bogus.
I agree, he did not break the law. I said in both a previous and subsequent post that he will walk.
My point in saying that in relation to him is best summed up as “you knew the risk when you put on the uniform.” When you agree to join the police, that means you know part of your job is running towards the gunfire. We as a society expect that, which is why cops are given guns and body armor and training at tax payer expense.
The courts have decided that cops don’t have a duty to run towards the gunfire.
Perhaps it could be a law passed by the legeslature that says “If you take an oath to be a police officer, you are legally required to run towards the gunfire. If you don’t and you hide, you will be held criminally liable.”
Other professions are explicit about what constitutes negligence. Perhaps the police should do that as well.
I can remember in the ’80s, if a doctor, dentist or even an undertaker declined to “run toward the gunfire” to treat AIDS patients – when no one was fully certain on how it could be spread and contracting it was effectively a death sentence at the time – they were prosecuted. I doubt many of them considered they were signing up for hazardous duty (as law enforcement officers are) when they chose their professions.
I’m not sure what laws the SRO should be charged with, but he should not be able to just walk away from this. Maybe at least civil action that strips him of his retirement.
Good point. Doctors have put themselves into harm’s way since the days of the Plague, and continuing to the present day (Ebola in Africa, or Typhus in Los Angeles).
The other issue is that Peterson didn’t just refuse to put himself into harm’s way; he also ordered others to stay away. Even though those others were NOT cowards and WERE willing and able to act as they should.
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