In Parkland, Florida, where 17 people were killed in a mass shooting, a sheriff’s deputy faced widespread criticism last week amid reports that he heard AR-15 fire yet failed to rush into the high school he was assigned to protect. Critics say he should’ve risked his life to confront the gunman with his service weapon. “When it came time to get in there and do something, he didn’t have the courage, or something happened,” President Donald Trump said. “He certainly did a poor job. That’s the case where somebody was outside, they are trained, they didn’t react properly under pressure or they were a coward.”
It was the first time I can recall a policeman being labeled a coward by any federal official, let alone a law-and-order type who bristles at most criticism of cops.
And even though the facts of the case are hardly clear and the deputy maintains that he thought the shooter was outside the school, Trump was hardly alone.
The hashtag #CowardofBroward began trending on Twitter.
A high school student who survived the attack told a TV interviewer that he has this message for the deputy: “You’re despicable. You didn’t do your job. You were trained for this. You were armed. You had a bullet-proof vest. You were protected more than anybody else. You did nothing. You froze, you got scared, you did nothing at all, and you could have saved a lot of lives.” Tucker Carlson declared on Fox News that the deputy “may not have been the only coward on the scene. Brand-new reports suggest that three other Broward County deputies arrived at the school during the massacre but did not enter … instead they hid behind their vehicles until Coral Springs police officers arrived and found them.”