Disgraced Parkland school cop, Scot Peterson, starts getting $8,702-a-month pension
The Parkland school cop who was disgraced for not entering the school building where the shooting was taking place, Scot Peterson, has reportedly started to receive a hefty monthly pension of $8,702.35 after he retired amid the massacre aftermath.
On February 14, a former student of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High school, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, opened fire on campus with his legally-bought AR-15 rifle, killing 17 people. Most of the victims of the carnage included students and teachers.
The 55-year-old law enforcement veteran, Peterson, was reportedly the resource deputy stationed at the school on the day when the massacre occurred. Reports state that as one of the United States largest school mass shootings was unfolding in the Parkland school, the former deputy took up a position outside the building which was under attack, and never attempted to enter it.
Peterson, later in February, was suspended without pay for his inaction. Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel, in February, had said that Deputy Scot Peterson was seen taking up a defensive position during the school shooting, however, he never entered the school building.
The County Sheriff Israel had announced the decision to suspend Peterson after reviewing a video from the shooting which showed Peterson not taking any immediate action to stop the shooter. Israel had said that the decision to suspend the officer was taken after taking statements from witnesses and the officer himself.
"He should have went in, addressed the killer, killed the killer," Israel said during a press conference.
According to the video, the officer remained outside of the building for over four minutes during the shooting, which lasted for nearly six minutes. Israel said that Peterson, apart from getting "on his radio", did "nothing" while standing outside of the building.
Israel also opened an internal investigation into the case, following which the deputy resigned and subsequently retired on February 23, "rather than face possible termination," according to reports.
According to the Sun-Sentinel, Peterson has received a monthly state pension of $8,702.35 since April. The news outlet, citing the sheriff's office records, said that Peterson was paid $101,879.03 last year.
Peterson, however, defended his actions on the day of the shooting.
The former deputy's lawyer, in a statement at the time, said that 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."
Reports state that although Peterson has not been criminally charged in association with the shooting, it is possible that his pension benefits could possibly be forfeited, pending a Florida state inquiry into how police responded to the shooting, the Sentinel reported.
Peterson was reportedly named school resource officer of the year in Parkland in 2014. According to the records, he had been with the same school for five years.
The booklet which announced his award stated that Peterson had been "proven to be reliable in handling issues with tact and judgment." It also added that he was active in mentoring and counseling students that particular year.
According to an internal memo from the sheriff's office dated March 27, 2017, Peterson was also nominated for Parkland deputy of the year in 2017. The officer reportedly began his career with the Broward County Sheriff's Office in 1985.