Parkland shooting: ‘I still have faith in humanity’

Nadia Andrea tells Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” that the former Broward County cop does not regret his actions that day, which resulted in the deaths of 14 students and three school employees. Story…

Parkland shooting: 'I still have faith in humanity'

Nadia Andrea tells Alisyn Camerota on “New Day” that the former Broward County cop does not regret his actions that day, which resulted in the deaths of 14 students and three school employees.

Story by Alisyn Camerota and Deborah Feyerick, CNN • Published 15-07-2020

Former Broward County cop takes on Parkland shooting parents on “New Day” for questioning his innocence in the deaths of 17 students

Former Broward County cop takes on Parkland shooting parents on “New Day” for questioning his innocence in the deaths of 17 students

NEW YORK (CNNMoney) -Nadia Andrea is taking on parents of the Parkland shooting victims.

On Friday, the former Broward County sheriff’s deputy appeared on CNN to explain why he did not arrest Nikolas Cruz, the Florida school shooter, for armed trespassing in February.

In a press conference that day, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called Andrea, who is facing a perjury charge, “an absolute hero” for not stopping Cruz from entering Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.

Police arrest didn’t stop the shooting

In his first live interview since then, Andrea was quizzed by former news anchor Alisyn Camerota.

The former news anchor asked Andrea, “How are you being portrayed as the hero, the singular point of safety” that Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel called you to be?

“Every mother and father who was watching that press conference was asking, ‘How do I protect my child and how do I trust my child?’ ” she said.

She added that she “would have loved to have been the single point of safety that you said you would be. I didn’t get that opportunity.”

Despite the fact that Andrea said he would have liked to have been the safety on that February day, he says he does not regret his actions.

“I would tell anyone — would I wish for a different outcome? Yes. But I’m not saying that I would do it differently, no,” he said.

Asked why he wouldn’t want his actions to be made public, he said, “I’m not running for public office. This isn’t a public relations stunt. This isn’t a circus. This is just an officer being honest with you.”

In a statement to CNN, Broward County Superintendent Robert Runcie said, “Nobody has more sympathy for the victims and their families than Deputy Scot Peterson. If Deputy Peterson had used his training to stop the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that day, then, sadly, the tragedy would have been prevented. He had numerous opportunities to stop the shooter and he failed. As he shared publicly after the shooting, he made a conscious decision not to intervene because his training told him not to engage. The Sheriff’s Office supports Deputy Peterson.”

‘I still have faith in humanity’

Only two days before, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel publicly admonished CNN for airing what he called “fake news” during the one-year anniversary of the shooting.

Last month, CNN aired footage of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel holding a press conference the morning after the shooting and saying that it could have been avoided if the deputy who was on duty at the time had been more proactive.

Anchor Kate Bolduan pointed out that deputies on the scene as well as the sheriff’s office were not immediately called to the scene, as mandated by school district rules.

The sheriff’s statement said the officer went to the school after a fire alarm went off.

During the following morning’s press conference, however, he said that the deputy at the scene had probable cause to enforce the school district’s policies on access control and fire alarm activation.

After the CNN broadcast, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel took to social media to call the network a “fake news outlet” and derided its coverage of the shooting as a “scripted hit piece.”

Camerota asked Andrea if he still felt that way.

“I still have faith in humanity, for sure,” she said.

Asked by Camerota whether he believes he was a hero, the former Broward County cop said, “I still do. And I’d never change my opinion on what happened. It was an unfortunate incident, and I wish it didn’t happen, but it did.”

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