The jury in the trial of former school resource officer Scot Peterson, who allegedly failed to take action during the Parkland school shooting in 2018, will not be visiting the crime scene, according to a ruling by a judge on Thursday, as reported by CNN affiliate WPLG.
Parkland School Shooting
Officer Scot Peterson is accused of neglecting his duty by remaining in a covered position for 45 minutes while a gunman carried out a shooting spree at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, resulting in the deaths of 14 children and three staff members, and leaving 17 others injured, CNN reported.
The process of jury selection began on Wednesday.
After the Parkland shooting, Peterson faced significant criticism when it was revealed that he remained outside despite being armed. Former President Donald Trump commented on the situation, stating that Peterson did a poor job and lacked courage.
Peterson retired from the Broward Sheriff’s Office amidst growing scrutiny.
Peterson’s defense argues, in part, that he did not enter the building due to a lack of knowledge about the shooter’s location and because he was ill-equipped to confront someone armed with an AR-15.
Prosecutors, on the other hand, contend that Peterson could have assisted in locating the shooter if he had communicated with fleeing students and entered the building.
Judge Denies Jury Visit to Parkland School Shooting Crime Scene
While Peterson’s defense team wanted the jury to visit the exterior of the school, prosecutors also argued for the jury to see the inside of the building where the shooting occurred.
However, the judge ruled against both requests, deciding that the jury would not go to the shooting site.
Peterson’s attorney expressed disappointment at the denial of a school visit but expressed gratitude that the judge did not allow the jury to enter the building, stating that it would be irrelevant and potentially traumatizing for jurors.
The trial of a law enforcement member in relation to their actions during a school shooting is a rare occurrence, although such tragedies continue to happen across the United States.