Parkland father files lawsuit against 'coward' school resource officer
A father whose daughter was killed in the Feb. 14 mass shooting in Parkland, Florida, has filed a wrongful death lawsuit against not only the accused gunman, but the school resource officer who stayed outside while the rampage took place.
In his suit filed Monday in Broward Circuit Court, Andrew Pollack names Scot Peterson, the armed sheriff's deputy assigned to Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, as a defendant.
"I want to expose that coward so bad," Pollack tweeted of Peterson, who resigned amid an investigation into the shooting. "Where ever he goes I want people to recognize him and say that's one of the cowards of Broward. The SRO that let those children and teachers die on the 3rd floor!"
The suit asks for a jury trial and unspecified damages. Pollack, whose daughter Meadow died in the shooting, also tweeted that it "has nothing to do with money."
A week after the massacre, Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel confirmed that Peterson was outside the school for upwards of four minutes and while armed, never engaged.
Peterson should have "addressed the killer, killed the killer," Israel said at a news conference.
An attorney for Peterson could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday, but has previously said that "allegations that Mr. Peterson was a coward and that his performance, under the circumstances, failed to meet the standards of police officers are patently untrue."
Also named in Pollack's suit are Nikolas Cruz, the 19-year-old suspect; the estate of his late mother; the family who took Cruz in after his mother died; and various mental health agencies.
Cruz has been charged with 17 counts of murder and 17 counts of attempted murder, and is currently awaiting a trial date.
Pollack, meanwhile, was one of the more vocal parents following the shooting, expressing outrage during a meeting at the White House with President Donald Trump about the lack of legislative action on guns.
"Fix it!" he told Trump as he told the story of how his 18-year-old daughter died.
"It should've been one school shooting, and we should've fixed it," Pollack said. "I'm pissed."
The White House in March said it would propose funding firearms training for school personnel and bolster firearm background checks, but steered clear of a previous idea floated by Trump to raise the minimum legal age to buy semiautomatic weapons from 18 to 21.
A student survivor from Parkland, Anthony Borges, filed a lawsuit last month against Cruz and others. The 15-year-old is credited with saving as many as 20 of his classmates at Marjory Stoneman Douglas.