It Gets Worse

The aftermath of the shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School has become like the history of Russia, every chapter can be summarized by saying, “And then it got worse.”

As word spread that an armed attacker was shooting up a Parkland high school, two members of the Miramar Police Department’s SWAT team responded to the scene.

They had been training in nearby Coral Springs earlier that day and wanted to help end a deadly mass shooting that claimed 17 lives.

But their own commander said he didn’t know they were going. And the Broward Sheriff’s Office — worried about over-crowding a chaotic scene with law enforcement officers — didn’t ask for them to show up. BSO already had its own SWAT team in motion.

Eight days after the tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, the two Miramar officers, Det. Jeffery Gilbert and Det. Carl Schlosser, were temporarily suspended from duty with the SWAT team. They remain on active duty with the department, according to a Miramar police spokeswoman.

While four officers were sitting on the sidelines, whether due to cowardice or being ordered to do so, two officers from the Miramar Police Department SWAT team attempted to respond to the scene. Now they’re the ones being punished.

They’re being punished for disobeying orders. While I can see why one wouldn’t want unexpected people running to a scene to which others are already responding, we know that nobody was responding to the school shooting. That being the case, it seems foolish to punish these two now. But it seems like many departments have developed a culture where following orders is the most important criteria for an officer, not helping those who the department is supposedly tasked with helping.