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Footage Released Of Deputy Branded A 'Coward' For Not Entering Parkland School

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Footage Released Of Deputy Branded A 'Coward' For Not Entering Parkland School

Police have released footage of the deputy who has been heavily criticised for not running into Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School when a gunman opened fire.

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Deputy Scot Peterson was called a 'coward' by President Donald Trump for his actions, who also said the officers who didn't rush into the school 'weren't exactly medal of honour winners' and were 'frankly disgusting'.

When speaking to a group of state governors, President Trump said: "I really believe I'd run in there even if I didn't have a weapon."

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He was suspended and has since handed in his resignation, the BBC reports.

In the newly released clip, Peterson can be seen outside the school as the shots began, he and another man knock on a door before turning and walking in the other direction. He can be seen talking into his radio as they walk off and get into a golf cart.

Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office
Credit: Broward Sheriff's Office

His attorney Joseph DiRuzzo claims that Peterson believed the shots were outside; adding that he had been following his training by 'taking cover and prompting a lockdown'.

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He said: "Let there be no mistake, Mr Peterson wishes that he could have prevented the untimely passing of the 17 victims on that day, and his heart goes out to the families of the victims in their time of need.

"However, the allegations that Mr Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue."

Peterson says he initially received a call about 'firecrackers' and it was only when he ran towards the sound that he realised it was gun fire. Peterson, said the Broward Sheriff's Office had trained him to 'seek cover and assess the situation' in cases of outdoor gun fire.

Credit: PA
Credit: PA
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After hearing shots, he says he issued a 'code red' on the campus, meaning the school was locked down.

When back up officers arrived at the scene he told them the gunman was outside, according to his lawyer, this was backed up by 'radio transmissions [which] indicated that there was a gunshot victim in the area of the football field'.

Seventeen people, including 14 children, died after gunman Nikolas Cruz, a former student, allegedly opened fire. Prosecutors are seeking the death penalty for the 19-year-old, saying: "The capital felony was a homicide and was committed in a cold, calculated and premeditated manner without any pretence of moral or legal justification."

Source: BBC; TMZ

Featured Image Credit: Broward Sheriff’s Office

Topics: Police, America, News, US News, President, crime, weapons, Guns, Donald Trump

Claire Reid
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