Feb 26, 2018

Mounting pressure on sheriff over handling of Parkland shooting

Broward Sheriff Scott Israel stands with President Trump and Gov. Rick Scott. Photo: Jim Watson / AFP via Getty Images

"Gov. Rick Scott ... asked the Florida Department of Law Enforcement to investigate the response to the Parkland school shooting, as questions mounted over the Broward Sheriff’s Office’s handling of the tragedy," the Fort Lauderdale Sun Sentinel reports.

The backdrop: "The announcement came just hours after Broward Sheriff Scott Israel appeared on CNN [with Jake Tapper for nearly 30 awkward minutes] and refused any blame for his agency’s missteps and touted his own 'amazing leadership' after Tapper asked how the shooter was unnoticed despite 23 tips to the Sheriff's Office.

  • Broward County Commissioner Michael Udine, whose daughter attends Stoneman Douglas: "There are so many unanswered questions here on every different level, from the school board to the FBI to local law enforcement. Everybody who had a chance here failed our kids."
  • What the president is reading: The cover of the N.Y. Post hits "Broward cowards."

Gun outlook as Congress returns from 10-day break today ... WashPost, top of column 1, "GOP Hill leaders silent on gun bills ... Obstacles — and silence — on Capitol Hill even as clamor for new gun laws grows":

  • "The hands-off approach from the top leaders reflects divisions within the GOP between law­makers representing politically moderate, often suburban areas where there is wide support for new gun laws and those representing more rural, solidly Republican states and districts."
  • "While the former group has been increasingly vocal over the past week, it is the latter who constitute the bulk of the Republican majorities in the House and Senate — and are likely to dictate what legislation, if any, is considered.
  • AP: "[N]o plan appears ready to take off despite a long list of proposals, including many from President Donald Trump."

Worth your click: Mike Barnicle column, "Teachers Belong in Classrooms, Teaching: Does anyone actually believe that shooters would have stopped because their English teacher or lacrosse coach kept a Glock in the cabinet?"

Go deeper

John Kelly defends James Mattis against Trump attacks

John Kelly in the White House in July 2017. Photo: Cheriss May/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Former White House chief of staff John Kelly defended James Mattis on Thursday after President Trump attacked the former defense secretary as "the world's most overrated general" and claimed on Twitter that he was fired.

What he's saying: “The president did not fire him. He did not ask for his resignation,” Kelly told the Washington Post in an interview. “The president has clearly forgotten how it actually happened or is confused."

Barr claims "no correlation" between removing protesters and Trump's church photo op

Attorney General Bill Barr said at a press conference Thursday that there was "no correlation" between his decision to order police to forcibly remove protesters from Lafayette Park and President Trump's subsequent visit to St. John's Episcopal Church earlier this week.

Driving the news: Barr was asked to respond to comments from Defense Secretary Mark Esper, who said Tuesday that he "did not know a photo op was happening" and that he does everything he can to "try and stay out of situations that may appear political."

Updates: Cities move to end curfews for George Floyd protests

Text reading "Demilitarize the police" is projected on an army vehicle during a protest over the death of George Floyd in Washington, D.C.. early on Thursday. Photo: Yasin Ozturk/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Several cities are ending curfews after the protests over the death of George Floyd and other police-related killings of black people led to fewer arrests and less violence Wednesday night.

The latest: Los Angeles and Washington D.C. are the latest to end nightly curfews. Seattle Mayor Jenny Durkan tweeted Wednesday night that "peaceful protests can continue without a curfew, while San Francisco Mayor London Breed tweeted that the city's curfew would end at 5 a.m. Thursday.