(TotalConservative.com) – A former deputy for a Florida sheriff’s office claims he wasn’t legally obligated to confront the shooter who slaughtered 17 people at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida, almost six years ago.
Scot Peterson, a former Broward County Deputy, sent his legal team to file a request before a judge to have a lawsuit against him dismissed that was brought against Peterson by survivors and victims’ families. The now 25-year-old shooter, former Stoneman Douglas student Nikolas Cruz, is currently serving life in prison for the massacre.
One of Peterson’s attorneys, Michael Piper, told the Circuit Judge that his client, under the law, cannot be sued for actions he did or did not take during the school massacre on Feb. 14, 2018. Piper cited appeal cases that determined police officers are not legally obligated to protect other people from third-party harm, and that charges cannot be brought against them for decisions made in the middle of a crisis situation.
The attorney noted that although the decision would not be popular with the public, he told Judge Carol-Lisa Phillips that she must uphold the law by throwing out the case. In addition to the lawsuit seeking unspecified damages from Peterson, lawsuits were also filed against two former Stoneman Douglas High School security guards and against the Sheriff’s Office of Broward County.
Peterson’s attorney argues that there’s “a difference between legal duty” and “societal expectations.” When questioned whether or not he was arguing that Peterson had no “duty to stop” a “murderous rampage going on,” Piper clarified “that is exactly” what his team is saying and “exactly what the law is.”
David Brill, the attorney representing the victims’ families, countered Piper’s argument. Brill told the judge that the deputy’s actions, before and during the shooting, were not protected by the law because his decisions weren’t made in good faith and were due to willful negligence. Peterson is being criticized primarily for stationing himself away from the shooting and continuing to hide even after the incident was over and other officers stormed the building and stopped Cruz.
Peterson worked school security for almost thirty years, including at Stoneman Douglas for nine years, retiring shortly after the massacre and then retroactively fired later.
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