On February 28th, I posted a blog that contained the following paragraph:
I have been criticized for my commentary on bravery with regard to the Florida shootings on Valentines Day. I know a lot of very brave law enforcement officers. I know that the vast majority of them will take on that shooter every time, even if it costs them their own life, because it is what they are paid to do. I also know that a vast majority of them are stunned, saddened and shocked that their brothers in Broward County did not take on the shooter, and that as a result of that apparent cowardice seventeen people died without help that they could have rendered.
It has become clear over the last week that some of the officers were obeying the scene commander when they did not enter the building. (This does not include the school deputy, but the deputies who responded to the call.)
I have some thoughts on this issue:
First, my apologies to the deputies in question for my statement. You were not acting in a cowardly manner, you were obeying orders.
Second, the scene commander is at fault for not following a nationwide protocol on reacting to active shooter situations.
Third, there are times when orders you receive are immoral, illegal, or just plain stupid. It is your responsibility to ignore those orders and do the right thing. At least that’s what I was inculcated with in the military. I’m sticking with it. Perhaps there needs to be more training in some law enforcement agencies on this topic.
Do the right thing. Take the punishment afterward. I’d be surprised if the officers involved were punished for saving lives. If they were, it’s time to leave that outfit. I’d rather not work for anyone who values the chain of command over kids.
To sum up: They may not have been cowards, and I apologize for saying that about them. But they damn sure worked for fools.