Andrew Pollack, the father of slain high school student Meadow Pollack, won an important ruling in his ongoing negligence lawsuit against former Broward County deputy Scot Peterson.
Broward County Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning declined to dismiss Pollack’s complaint, ruling that the ex-lawman Peterson had a legal duty to protect victims from alleged mass shooter Nikolas Cruz, according to the Sacramento Bee. Meadow Pollack, 18, was one of 17 people killed on Valentine’s Day, Feb. 14, 2018, at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. Seventeen others were wounded, authorities said.
Deputies arrested Cruz as the gunman. His attorney doesn’t dispute the allegations, but they are attempting to save him from the death penalty.
Cruz was a former student at the school and had a history of behavioral problems. School officials were accused of missing red flags. Two school guards were fired for their alleged behavior amidst the shooting. The Broward County Sheriff’s Office leadership was also hit with claims of incompetence.
“I exercised my due diligence,” Sheriff Scott Israel said in a tense interview. “I’ve given amazing leadership to this agency.”
Peterson, a school resource officer at the high school, became pretty infamous after Israel said the then-deputy never went inside the building during the shooting. President Donald Trump called him a “coward.”
Peterson insisted he didn’t violate policy.
“I did everything that I felt at the time was appropriate,” he told TODAY in a June interview.
Regarding Wednesday’s ruling, his attorney Michael Piper said that his client didn’t have a legal duty to confront Cruz.
“There is no legal duty that can be found,” Piper said. “At its very worst, Scot Peterson is accused of being a coward. That does not equate to bad faith.”
Andrew Pollack asked this question after the judge’s ruled: If Peterson didn’t have a duty, “then what is he doing there?”
“He had a duty. I’m not going to let this go. My daughter, her death is not going to be in vain,” Pollack said.
[Screengrab via TODAY]