SunSentinel by Rafael Olmenda
July 26, 2018
The public deserves a firsthand look at official records on the Parkland school shooting, including whether the school system should have known the gunman was a threat, two judges ruled Thursday.
The records include a portion of Nikolas Cruz’s confession and a consultant’s report based on his time spent in Broward schools.
The twin rulings promise a trove of new information and insight into one of the deadliest school shootings in America. None of the information will be released until Cruz has a chance to appeal the rulings.
For months after the shooting, the school district deflected questions about its handling of Cruz, promising the questions would be explored in an independent consultant’s report. The district commissioned the report to review whether officials could have done more to identify the risk Cruz posed to the school community.
Cruz’s defense lawyers argued that release of the report would have an inevitable effect on their case. But Circuit Judge Patti Englander Henning ruled that the School Board can release it.
The report was not compiled by law enforcement as part of a criminal investigation, the judge ruled.
In the second ruling Thursday, Circuit Judge Elizabeth Scherer ruled that Cruz cannot keep his full confession from being disclosed to the public just because his case has generated a mountain of publicity.
She rejected defense arguments seeking to keep the statement secret until trial.