FACT-CHECK: Did The Parkland Cop’s Cowardice Cost Lives?

The Broward Sheriff’s Office has said that Officer Scot Peterson’s inaction on the day of the school shooting in Parkland was cowardly; that cops have been trained since Columbine not to wait for backup and to address and kill the shooter. Stop the killing, at all cost.

Is Deputy Peterson guilty of a crime? Was his inaction cowardly? It brings to question:

Is the cop who did nothing in any way responsible?

Since we’re a satire site here to make people look silly, we’ll just let you John Rambo Joeball USAers get to the comment section where you can talk all about what you would have done had you been there with a gun. (Scroll down, click ads for stuff and share on Facebook).

In reality, Deputy Petersen, who at 54 took his pension and retired immediately following the incident, made his choices on the ground in a crisis situation the likes of which none of us who have never been there could imagine. Put yourself in his shoes and ask yourself what you would have done.

This man obviously didn’t feel safe enough, confident enough or comfortable enough with his position and knowledge of the facts involved to insert himself and his sidearm into a situation involving a LOT of gunfire. That goes against the directive of the department and he was right to retire. I think everyone would agree. But in that moment, in that man’s head, anyone could have been a target.

Here are a few things you may want to consider when judging this man as a human being:

  • The instinct to survive trumps all things. Your threshold for when a situation becomes survivable is unknown until it happens. Peterson found his. Maybe if his own children were inside things would be different. Maybe that makes it even worse
  • He had zero information about the shooter or for all he knew…shooters. He was the school’s resource officer and probably had an idea of a list of suspects, but…who? How many? When the rapid fire stops is that because they switched to pistols and they’re waiting patiently for the cops to barge in?
  • “Jesus…what if I shoot the first thing that moves and it’s an innocent kid?”

Yeah, I get it. The guy froze. I would like to think that I would have found myself some low shelter and a window to peek through to try to make an entry so I could at least try to help.

I’d like to think that. Four minutes outside while there’s obvious killing going on is a long time. To Peterson, it must have been an eternity.

The “good guy with a gun” failed. But…that’s kinda the point. This man was a trained officer who knew his surroundings well. In light of the facts as we now know them, did we really want him rushing in there? He doesn’t quite seem like the “keep calm in a panic” kinda guy. Chances are he gets himself and a couple of more people killed when he freezes again inside the building.

It would be nice if those who believe arming more people would understand that this is the inevitable result in cases of most people without combat training. They fire live rounds over their heads while they crawl in the mud for a reason. Teachers don’t get that whole experience at grad school. Your local gun-nut’s six-week training course for potatriots isn’t gonna cut it.

Scot Peterson chose life and he’ll pay for it for the rest of his. For you to judge is a bit absurd unless you have a lovely story about how the same thing happened to you once.

Consider the bar set.

About Flagg Eagleton 42 Articles
Flagg Eagleton is the son of an American potato farmer and a patriot. After spending 4 years in the Navy and 7 on welfare picking himself up by the bootstraps, Flagg finally got his HVAC certificate and is hard at work keeping the mobile homes of Tallahassee at a comfy 83 degrees.