Jury Acquits Deputy Who Failed to Confront Parkland Shooter

Scot Peterson was found not guilty of child neglect, culpable negligence and perjury in a rare trial in South Florida over police inaction in a school shooting.

Peterson, a former school resource officer at the Parkland school was branded the “Coward of Broward” for not doing enough to stop the 2018 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that killed 17 people and injured 17 others while he stood at a safe distance.

For 45 minutes Peterson did not act to stop Nicolas Cruz, who was sentenced last year to life in prison.

Peterson, 60, faced seven felony counts and could have faced nearly 100 years in prison in what was believed to be the first trial in the nation against a police officer for inaction during a mass shooting.

He cried as the verdicts were read.

Peterson’s attorney focused on the testimony of deputies, teachers and students who said in court that they did not know where the shots were coming from. Peterson has long insisted there was nothing else he could have done to prevent the shooting, contending that the lack of information, the failure of the sheriff’s radio system and the echo of gunfire made it impossible to determine where the shooting was coming from.



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