In Florida, the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and Broward County school district are fighting to keep exterior surveillance video from the day of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High Schoolhidden from view. As journalists and citizens who’ve waged uphill battles against secrecy well know, government agencies too often invoke broad disclosure exemptions in the name of protecting public safety when they’re really just trying to protect their own jobs.
Feckless Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel and media darling school Superintendent Robert Runcie are defendants in an open-records lawsuit filed Tuesday by the South Florida Sun Sentinel, the Miami Herald and CNN.
The local officials claim that surveillance videos from cameras outside the school are completely exempt from sunshine laws because they would expose the district’s security-system plan; are part of an active criminal investigation; and involve an active internal affairs investigation of school resource officer/BSO Deputy Scot Peterson, whom Israel notoriously threw under the bus last week.
Let’s break down these specious excuses for keeping information vital to the public interest locked in a black box.
First, disclosure of the videos would pose no danger to students because Building 12, where the shooting took place, will be demolished….
There were cameras INSIDE the building as well, which no one seems to be talking about. I wonder why?
BTW: The sandy hook school was also demolished after the “event”, whatever it was. It’s called destruction of evidence. It used to be a crime, but that was before criminals took over the government.