Y'all can call him a coward all you want to. But I'll continue to reserve any condemnation for the guy. Hey, if I ever do decide to condemn him, I'll openly challenge him to some hand-to-hand combat. If he runs away then, I'll know for sure he's a coward.... Howz that sound? .... :^p
It's real easy to call someone else a "coward" when we have absolutely no idea what it was like to be in that particular situation. I read his account and it sounds totally plausible to me. Is it true? No idea. Is it false? No idea. Is it plausible that it happened exactly the way he described? Yes.
There is a reason for the term "fog of war" and there are a lot of steps on the ladder between hero and coward.
"...and Peterson left his position against the wall..."
I wasn't there. I have never been in any situation that is even in the same universe as being similar. However, in a situation where one is charged with and has accepted the responsibility to protect children, taking a "position against the wall" seems more like an act self preservation than that of a 'sheepdog'.
Salagi said it succinctly; "Whether he could have saved any lives or not by entering the building we will never know, but we know he didn't try."
Confusion, doing the wrong thing, or even freezing are not necessarily the same thing as being a "coward."
Without knowing his mindset, we simply cannot make an accurate determination. In retrospect, we know he didn't to the right thing. He might have been confused, he might have just frozen, or he might well have made the conscious decision to just not risk his own skin. We know the outcome but we don't know the facts regarding why.
I am every bit as concerned about a leo that jumps to conclusions about guilt, innocence, motive and intent before all facts are known, as I am about a leo that lacks the courage to carry out his/her duties. In my opinion, both are very dangerous to those that they serve.
As a former LEO, and my own personality, i am not surprised. He seems to be one that has to get involved with the other officers, dispatch, analyzing what is on the radio, too many cooks in the kitchen.
He is just average “ worry bout what the gang is doing” do good officer. Not really combat material. More DARE type community cop.
Situation like that, a specialist with experience working with only one other combat experienced officer, put the radio on mute, focus and get in there. Never mind keeping up with the panic crowd of community fellow officers. Like a sniper operates on the fringe of the grunt squad, there, but alone on the fringe side.
He is just a do good community cop. You cannot expect mch more.
What other facts need to be known? There was a shooter inside a building killing people. He was the armed Security officer. He knew shots were being fired.
His unarmed buddy that was gunned down when he ran toward the shooter, may have saved a few kids. There's your hero.
Are you really asking that?
After reading his account, first of all, he didn't know at first they were gun shots. They were reported to him as possible firecrackers (a situation that has happened before). When it was determined they were gun shots, he could not determine where the shots were coming from. If that is true (which none of us know), would you suggest he just charge into "a building" hoping its the right one?
If he entered the wrong building, which could have been a real possibility based on what he thought he was hearing, would he then be a "coward" and an idiot? Or would the armchair quarterbacks here on the CF just assume he was running into the wrong building so he could hide from danger?
He may well be a coward. I don't know that. The point is neither does anyone here. Period.
It's a legit question. Those are facts deal with it. You're the main armchair QB questioning everyone's opinion. Like I said earlier he has to live with his decision. I'm not a LEO but Big Bear is. I've never served in the Military others here have. I'll favor their opinion on this matter. It's not my place to call a LEO a coward when I'm not a LEO myself. I've never been in combat either the Military people have. I think it's safe to say they would know a coward when they see one.
But instead of CHANGING HIS POSITION, he stayed in the place where he already admitted he could not determine the origin of the shots.
If it had been me, I think I would have gone somewhere else on campus (perhaps inside the buildings) to see if I could better determine where the shooting was occurring.
He did not. Clearly he just remained in place and "cowered."
Yes sir. He has a heavy burden to carry the rest of his life.
With all due respect BB, you know nothing of the sort.
I do have to admit, if I was a defense attorney, I would dearly love to cross examine someone with evidence like that.
"It's a legit question. Those are facts deal with it. You're the main armchair QB questioning everyone's opinion."
I know you don't like hearing this, but that's called critical thinking sleepy, you should try it sometime. In case you hadn't noticed, I even question my own opinions on the matter. I consider all the facts and work toward a conclusion. Others decide on a conclusion and look for facts to support that conclusion.
And yes, in my opinion law enforcement officers should engage in the former and avoid the latter.
KPC, If anything you're a critical thinking fail. I also believe it's safe to conclude you should never be a security guard. From reading your posts. I sure you would run at the first sign of trouble. Well maybe not run, more bounce and crawl gasping for breath.
Further......... That Officers actions will be discussed at active shooter training nationwide as what not to do in response to an active shooter...... for decades to come......
Whether it was because he was a coward, froze up, or was too lazy to look doesn't matter, bottom line is he failed in his mission. It cost him his career, his self respect, the respect of others, and quite possibly the lives of innocent people. He has to live with that. Yes I feel sorry for him, pity him even, but I do not excuse his lack of action.
"When Debate is Lost, Slander Becomes Tool of the Loser"
As is typical of you, you make judgements and conclusion about people that you know nothing about, based on very few, if any facts, and because of that, come to conclusions that are very often wrong.
Fortunately, I have no idea how I would react in an active shooter situation. Never been in one, I hope I never am. Unless you have, neither do you.
However, in the last five years I have been in three different situations where emergency action was required on my part.
One was being first on the scene of a rollover accident where an elderly driver (on oxygen) had to be removed from an overturned, smoking vehicle. I witnessed the rollover and immediately stopped my vehicle, instructed my wife to call 911, and rushed to the vehicle to assist.
Second, I came across a young lady (jogger) on a country road that was having a seizure. I immediately stopped my car, called 911 and proceeded to carry her oout of the roadway where she would be safe, and steadied her until a second person stopped, and then until the paramedics arrived.
The third instance was just last year in a crowded Mexican restaurant where a middle aged woman was choking. As soon as I heard the commotion on the other side of the restaurant, I rushed to her table, where she was beginning to slump over and turning blue. Another young lady was unsuccessfully trying help so I straightened her up, performed the Heimlich maneuver until a large piece of chicken was dislodged from her throat, likely saving her life.
The first situation could have been life threatening, the second likely was not, and the third most definitely was. Was I a "hero?" Nope. Just did what I thought needed to be done in all situations. Were all the other people in the restaurant "cowards" because they didn't respond? You might think so, but I can't make that determination, nor will I.
So no, I doubt if I was in a situation like the Parkland shooting I would cower, but I honestly don't know. My past history suggests not, but I will never know unless and until I am in that specific situation.
You are welcome to call anyone you want a coward and even personally attack them, but that says a lot more about you than it does them.
"When Debate is Lost, Slander Becomes Tool of the Loser"
Practice what you preach KPC aka Loser.
""We have about 120 Officers in the Department I work at. We discussed this case as we do with all critical incidents...... Of the Officers I work with.... none of them that I am aware of have an opinion any different than mine regarding this incident....It's just an opinion.... and mine hasn't changed. Further......... That Officers actions will be discussed at active shooter training nationwide as what not to do in response to an active shooter...... for decades to come......""
That's what he thought, but he wasn't sure.
“Possible firecracker,” came the call in to his school radio at 2:21 p.m., from one of the school’s eight full-time security guards. “Firecracker over by the 1200 building.”
Peterson had dealt with fireworks on campus before, and if there were ever a likely time for one it was now, during the last class period on Valentine’s Day. “Probably a few kids acting like idiots,” Peterson remembered thinking, and he stood from his desk and walked out to investigate. His office was a few hundred yards from the 1200 building, and he was heading in that direction with a security guard when a fire alarm went off. Smoke from the firecracker had probably triggered the alarm, Peterson remembered thinking. He began running toward the 1200 building until one of the unarmed security guards swung by in a golf cart and offered him a ride. Peterson climbed onto the back and jumped off the cart about 20 yards from the 1200 building. The security guard drove away, and Peterson took a few steps toward the building before he heard two loud bangs. They didn’t sound like firecrackers. Maybe gunshots, he thought.
He remembered being unsure whether the blasts were coming from outside or inside the building, or if someone was firing shots in the adjacent parking lot or sniping from the roof. He didn’t know, and no one was there to tell him, and he remembered reacting in those first seconds by doing what he believed he had been trained to do: taking cover in a tactical position so he could clear the area. He leaned his back against the wall of an adjacent building. He took out his gun and scanned the surrounding palm trees, the courtyard, the windows, the parking lot, and the roof. He waved at students who were walking through the courtyard and told them to clear the area. He reached for his school radio and gave a “Code Red” to lock down the school. He picked up his police radio for the first time just after 2:23 p.m.
“Please advise, we have possible, uh, could be firecrackers. I think we got shots fired. Possible shots fired, 1200 building,” he said, according to a recording of the radio traffic.
He remembered standing for the next several seconds with his back against the wall, scanning the area around the building for a possible shooter. Trees. Roof. Windows. Courtyard. Trees, roof, windows, courtyard. He could see much of campus from his position, but he couldn’t find a shooter. He remembered staying in place because he didn’t want to expose himself when he didn’t know where the shots were coming from. He remembered feeling certain the gunshots were coming from somewhere near or inside the 1200 building, but where?
“Make sure we get some units over here,” he said into the radio, still at 2:23 p.m. “I need to shut down Stoneman Douglas, the intersection.”
“We’re talking about the 1200 building,” he said, a few seconds later.
“We don’t have any description yet,” he said, at 2:24. “We just hear shots, what appear to be shots fired.”
If what he's saying is accurate, it doesn't sound like he "KNEW" much of anything.
Parkland MSD High school is a 45 acre campus. Peterson was on one side of the campus (red arrow) when the shooting started on the other side of the campus (black arrow). That's a lot of buildings, stories, open space, echoes and commotion between the shooter and the cop. Yet some sitting at their computer screens think they could immediately pinpoint the location of the of the shots (that were reported as firecrackers) and get from one end of campus to the other, enter the correct building, go to the correct floor, identify the shooter and take him out with a pistol.
I'd say he would have been doing pretty darn good if he managed to kill the shooter coming out of the building...and that wouldn't have save one life.
Did Peterson do everything he should have done and by the book? Probably not. Did he do what he thought was right at the moment? Probably.
If some of you are so sure of the facts that you can call him a coward, that's your right, but I certainly can't.
The first shot rang out at 14:21:33 on the first floor of building twelve. The last shot was fired at 14:27:38 on the third of building 12.
So assuming the call went out to Peterson at the exact second it was fired (not likely), he had almost exactly 6 minutes until the last shot was fired. Remember now, when the call came in, he was told it was firecrackers and probably acted accordingly. Because of this, it isn't likely that he is moving as though it was a life and death situation, but even if he was, he was on the opposite end of a 45 acre campus. So he had to attempt to determine where the shots were coming from, move in cautious manner (because remember he had no idea where the noise was coming from) making his way to where suspected the shots were being fired. Even if he made his way directly across the entire campus, and into building 12, the shooter was no longer on the first floor. he would have had to make his way up two more floors (cautiously mind you, it's an active shooter situation), until finally meeting up with a shooter who has like laid his rifle down and looks like any other student fleeing the scene.
Six minutes, start to finish.
Somewhere in the middle of all that, three other officers arrive (all apparently cowards too, because they didn't immediately enter the building either) and the rest is tragic history.
We can only assume that the three additional officers must have thought they did things correctly because none of them resigned. And we know that the only reason an officer would resign is if he knew he did something wrong (as was posted earlier and subsequently removed).
Unfortunately not everything goes as planned, even for trained cops. That's just the way life (and death) is. But it doesn't necessarily make the cop a coward.
Six minutes, 45 acres, unknown sounds, numerous buildings, multiple floors, moving shooter...
No, I'm not ready to call him (them) cowards.
K Cummings's Link
Active shooter training again will forever change after this incident.... The instructors will again stress to immediately go find the threat. Waiting could cost lives. Instructors nationwide will stress not to do what this Officer did.
Big Bear is an actual police officer! In charge of other officers.
All likely true. I would hope that LE is constantly looking to improve their response to threats of all kinds.
Why just one officer though? Were the three other officers on the scene cowards too?
Adults can do that without resorting the garbage slade and sleepy trade in.
The sheriff of Broward County is an "actual police officer" too, and he is "in charge of other officers" also...so what exactly is your point?
On one of the news stations here a short time after this occurred, it was reported that the Deputy's training was actually to do exactly what he did. But I also read after Columbine that training had changed. I think Bear's position is one in the know, much better than the rest of us non-LE types, IMO. I like logic, but gut instinct developed from actual experience gets the nod in this case, again IMO. Thanks.
As stated above the COWARD was no sheepdog.
The short answer to your question is no... at least not today.
The long answer is you have been...and you probably will be again.
As evidenced by your recent departure from the CF, you know full well that there is a certain group of posters here that resort to the same tactics when then can't intelligently defend their positions.
For the most part, anyone who disagrees with them is a troll, a liberal, a whiner, a liar, a muzzy lover, a crybaby, some woman's name, or any one of a whole host of other juvenile, often vulgar names they mistakenly think will bother whoever it is they are after.
That is why, why you said the following recently,
"This time I'm really done..... For good here on the CF......... Some of you whacked out right wing nut jobs are just too much for me. I refuse to live my life like you with the constant thoughts of negativity in your heads. I'm done wasting my time and energy here.... It is completely pointless.......
I strongly encouraged you to stay, and to not let those that resort to those tactics run you off.
I'm glad you decided to come back. You make others (including me) think about their positons. Will we always agree? I hope not. Bootlicking and backslapping is boring.
This is taught now because most of these school shooters are kids who aren't well trained. One of these kooks will know this is the new policy and will set up an ambush to kill as many cops as they can who are rushing in. Then the policy will be modified.
A lot of training is involved to overcome the survival instinct - even in war there is a % that cannot do it (and they train an order of magnitude more than police officers who are an order of magnitude more than security officers who are an order of magnitude more than school teachers).
From a publication entitled:
CRITICAL ISSUES IN POLICING SERIES
The Police Response to Active Shooter Incidents by the Police Executive Research Forum
"SOLO ENTRY AND “CONTACT TEAMS” In active shooter situations where an officer arrives at the scene and can hear shooting, screams, or other indications that the perpetrator is actively shooting or threatening victims, some departments’ policies explicitly provide that the lone officer can move to stop the threat without waiting for any additional officers to arrive. The shooter may be stopped by arrest, by containment, or by use of deadly force. And some policies note that when an active shooter incident occurs at a school, a School Resource Officer (SRO) may be the first officer at the scene who must make a decision about whether to respond alone. Other departments require that officers wait until a certain number of officers have arrived. Those officers are instructed to form a “contact team” that responds as a unit with the mission of stopping the shooter and preventing his escape. Some departments’ policies recommend a contact team of a certain size—often four officers—but also specify that fewer officers may respond if it is apparent that a full contact team cannot be assembled quickly. Some of these agencies caution that a smaller team should be deployed only as a last resort."
It would be very interesting to know what the Broward County departments official policy is on this.
K Cummings's Link