Scot Peterson, a former school resource officer assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High in Parkland, FL who resigned after failing to enter to the school to confront Nikolas Cruz, the alleged killer, is still receiving a pension of $8,702.35 per month. The pension has led to outrage as citizens, including parents of victims, blame Peterson’s inaction for the loss of lives. NPR reports:
The Florida Department of Management Services says Scot Peterson began receiving the payments last month, which do not include health insurance benefits.
Peterson made $101,879 last year as a Broward County sheriff’s deputy, including overtime and other compensation, according to The Sun Sentinel, which cited sheriff’s office records.
The secretary of Florida’s Department of Management Services, Erin Rock, says Peterson submitted his application for benefits after resigning on Feb. 22.
A letter that Rock sent to the Broward County Sheriff Office and state attorney in March, which was obtained by NPR, noted that unless charges were filed against Peterson, the department would be required by law to pay his pension.
No charges against Peterson have been filed.
Video showed Peterson, an armed guard at the school, standing outside as the gunman unloaded his AR-15 rifle, shooting dead 17 students and educators.
Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel — who himself has come under scrutiny over his department’s role both before and during the shooting — announced in a news conference days after the shooting that he was “devastated, sick to my stomach,” that Peterson did not enter the school.
Israel said Peterson should have gone in and “killed the killer.”
Peterson’s lawyer has said his client was following his training and believed at the time that the gunshots were coming from outside the school. And police radio tapes reveal confusion over the gunman’s location as officers arrived at the scene, according to the Sun Sentinel.
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