The Cowards of Broward don’t just leave children to die

| November 29, 2020

They also leave crippled pensioners at the mercy of violent felons intent on doing harm.

Bill Norkunas (Photo credit South Florida Sun Sentinel)

A couple years ago, when Deputy Scot Peterson of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office in Florida stood by while his students were shot and killed by a crazed gunman, he earned the nickname “The Coward of Broward.” In the immediate aftermath of the February 2018 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland it also came out that other deputies who responded to the shooting were staging instead of going in and confronting the threat. The latter has been the standard operating procedure for 20 years in an active shooter call.

Do you suppose the BCSO has learned their lesson? The sheriff was even fired by the governor. Let’s see how they behaved more recently when a resident of the county was confronted with an armed subject.

Seventy-year-old Bill Norkunas, a childhood polio survivor, headed over to the light and flicked it on hoping to scare away whoever was there. Instead, the light was a beacon drawing a young man to his front door, a door made of glass.

And then for the next 15 minutes, Norkunas stood there, barefoot and unclothed, with his crutches, on one side of the glass pane trying to steady a gun in his trembling hand while the stranger stood on the other side, pounding on the door, banging it with his hip or gnawing at the thick hurricane-grade glass with a garden paver.

Norkunas, who suffered minor injuries from the glass digging into his foot, has no idea why the man, later identified as 23-year-old Timothy Johnson of Fort Lauderdale, tried to break down his door on Nov. 7.

And as bewildering, and just as terrifying to him, is the knowledge that a squad of Broward sheriff’s deputies responded to his Tamarac neighborhood, but none came close to his home to stop the man. Instead, they waited down the street until he walked over to them and surrendered, witnesses told the South Florida Sun Sentinel.

The result is a palpable sense of outrage toward the Sheriff’s Office with many in the neighborhood questioning why deputies would leave a terrified, disabled man to fend for himself for as long as they did.

The Sheriff’s Office refused to answer questions about the response, including why no one showed up at Norkunas’ home, whether policy was followed or broken, and whether the situation could have been handled better. Instead, the department released this statement:

“Within days of the incident in Tamarac, the Broward Sheriff’s Office began a thorough review into how the deputies on scene handled the response to this fluid and rapidly evolving situation. The review into this incident is ongoing.

“The Broward Sheriff’s Office responds to tens of thousands of calls for service each year. The vast majority of these calls are handled appropriately with satisfactory outcomes. [The Broward Sheriff’s Office] constantly reviews and assesses its responses to emergency calls in order to provide the highest level of service to the public.”

The 911 call

Neighbors would not call the response “the highest level.” Instead of stopping the would-be-intruder at Norkunas’ door, witnesses said, the deputies stayed down the street and around a corner, some 500 yards away while Norkunas and his neighbors flooded the 911 emergency communications system begging for help for almost 15 minutes.

“If he opens the door can I shoot him?” Norkunas asks the 911 dispatcher about two minutes into his phone call for help.

By the third minute, Norkunas is telling the dispatcher that the stranger is trying to kick the door in, according to recording of the call. While still on the phone with the dispatcher, Norkunas can be heard warning the stranger that he better leave or he is going to get shot. Until this point in his life, Norkunas had never pointed a gun at anyone before.

“Get the cops here quick,” he barks into the phone at minute four.

Three minutes later, Norkunas’ voice is weary: “Sheriff, hurry up please.”

Three more minutes pass. “Where the hell are the cruisers? … They are still not here. Jesus Christ. There’s still no cruisers. Come to my house, please please.”

He tells the dispatcher his glass door is smashed in and he doesn’t know what to do. The dispatcher tells him the deputies are canvassing the area to “make sure no one else gets hurt.”

A dispatcher hears the glass breaking and alerts the 18 deputies who had been assigned to go to Norkunas’ home, according to a dispatcher’s log that documents the call and response. The Sheriff’s Office initially refused to release those public records, as well as the 911 call and police report, until the Sun Sentinel’s attorney got involved.

Still, the breaking glass did not seem to be enough to get deputies to move in on the man outside Norkunas’ door.

Norkunas continues to plead with the dispatcher on the 911 call, saying his home is at the end of the cul-de-sac. He says there are two cars in the driveway and there’s a light on.

“If he gets inside this house, I don’t know what I am going to do. I’ve never shot anybody,” he tells the dispatcher.

Norkunas stayed on the phone with a dispatcher from the time he made the call at 9:26 p.m. until Johnson, the suspected intruder, walked directly to the deputies and was detained 15 minutes later, according to witnesses and the dispatcher’s log.

Where were the sirens? The whirling blue lights? The men and women who put on the uniform each day ready to serve? What were they waiting for?

“I’ve been on this earth 70 years, and I have never seen anything like this,” Norkunas said in an interview. “No officer came to my house. None.”

Norkunas said a sergeant explained procedures for setting up a perimeter so that Johnson could not escape, but also admitted they could have done better. Norkunas said he was offered $500 from a victim’s fund. He said he turned it down.

Unbelievable. Eighteen (18!) cops respond to this call of a single person attempting to make entry to an occupied dwelling by force. Not a single one went up to the house to engage the suspect? This is absolutely not the SOP for how to respond to a call of this nature.

Instead of doing what is right and just plain good manners, like stopping the crime before it gets worse, they just stand around. They were forming a perimeter? Good for you guys. That’s great when you’ve got a guy going into an unoccupied building and want to pen him in. The priority here is to get the bad guy away from the innocent victim. If he runs and you can’t find him, at least the victim isn’t in the process of being attacked or butchered while you’re playing grab ass with your partners a block away.

The entire BCSO has now re-earned the nickname “The Cowards of Broward.” If I were a resident there, I’d start looking to relocate. Whatever rot is in that department runs very, very deep.

Thanks to KoB for sending this one in and getting my blood pressure up. My cardiologist thanks you, good sir!

Source; Sun Sentinel

Category: "Your Tax Dollars At Work", Crime, Government Incompetence, Guest Link, Police

Comments (56)

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  1. Ex-PH2 says:

    Gee, I’m glad I don’t live there. It’s obvious to the most casual reader that the deitties only want a paycheck, and don’t want to do the work. Sponging off the taxpayers – something like that.

    Glad I live where I do now.

    • Anonymous says:

      My only question about ’em is whether they would’ve had us speaking Russian or German for job security.

  2. Toxic Deplorable Racist SAH B Woodman says:

    Now THERE is a police department that needs to be defunded.
    But only after every sheriff and deputy is rounded up, hog-tied, and branded with a big “COWARD” across their forehead.

  3. Hack Stone says:

    You don’t need a firearm for self defense, that is what the police are for. //S//

  4. xyzzy says:

    This is why I have a CCW permit and a 9mm pistol in my fanny pack.

  5. HMCS(FMF) ret says:

    The “Cowards of Broward” need to be defunded and closed down for good… UFB…

  6. Old tanker says:

    I don’t recall any articles about defunding the Broward SO. If I had then I could almost understand the reason WHY they performed in this manner.

    Quite frankly this is how I would expect the PD in Minneapolis, Seattle and Portland to respond given the way their mayors and clowncils cut their budgets and threaten to do away with the Departments. This is exactly the kind of liberal utopia the left wants to install across the nation. The departments being afraid of being sued for excessive force, the Officers afraid of being prosecuted for doing their job because of “excessive force” if violence occurs.

    I’ve done the job and chased a man with a rifle into a store by myself because there were no backups and the store had tons of folks inside doing their business. It stopped a hostage situation because the gut got scared when the pissed off Motorcycle Cop came after him. Of course back then there was no such thing as blm, idiots protesting things they have no idea about. There was internal affairs but my actions didn’t violate policy and procedures. At that time Officers were expected to use their heads and their own initiative.

    To me it looks like the Sheriff not only has no balls but has castrated all of his deputies as well. I am curious as to how the county supervisors rendered instructions to the new Sheriff after the last one was canned. I would say they have certainly deserved and owned the cowards of Broward name.

    • Anonymous says:

      I’m sure Lars will be along to defend that as “social justice” or something shortly.

      • HMCS(FMF) ret says:

        ‘Cause it’s a “right” to riot and destroy other people’s property…

        • A Proud Infidel®™ says:

          It’s a ‘Right” that “Victims of Society” have to other people’s stuff and shit like that…

          • 11B-Mailclerk says:

            Funny how they always seem to have isolated themselves from the actions they advocate.

            There are those that say they are living in the “rough neighborhood”, thus understand “inner city people” (codeword = racial epithet), meaning they occasionally step in the poop of someone else’s dog and sometimes hear a neighbor tell them to buzz off. Real tough hood. You are “down with the masses”. Yeah.

            Not a true “limousine liberal”, but “Prius progressive”.

  7. As I’ve mentioned in the past, I subscribe to IPN and get texts on fires, MVA’s, shootings etc and In Broward Cty, I get the perimiter being set up during shots fired, robberies etc. What is that homeowner doing with a hand gun if he is afraid of using it. Sell it to me if your afraid of it. Florida has the Castle Doctrine. In Palm Beach County where I live, If there is a firearms incident where someone needs medical aid, Palm Beach County Fire Rescue are directed to a staging area and stand by until the firearms danger is cleared and safe for the first responders to provide medical aid, or extinguish a fire and that’s the fact Jack. PBCFR is 800 MZ
    Motorola P-25 trunked and I hear this if I have the scanner on.

  8. The Other Whitey says:

    What. The. Fuck?

    How about a compromise: defund Broward Cowards SO, and leave the real cops alone.

  9. 2banana says:

    This is actually quite common everywhere now with police.

    Police refuse to answer 911 calls.

    Especially if criminal is a minority.

    They don’t want to be crucified for doing their job – especially against a violent minority criminal.

    • martinjmpr says:

      This would be my guess, too. I presume said criminal was black and cops knew if they confronted him, they’d likely have to shoot him, so they waited and hoped he’d either surrender or the homeowner would shoot him so they wouldn’t have to.

    • Poetrooper says:

      Lesson learned:

      Anyone tries to break into your home describe them to the 911 operator as white supremacists.

      That will get a quick response…

    • 5JC says:

      Please cite a source for it being common that police don’t answer 911 calls for minorities. It would be a fascinating read for all of us.

      • SFC D says:

        He didn’t say that. He said they are reluctant if the alleged criminal is a minority. BLM owns that problem.

        http://www.rif.org

      • 11B-Mailclerk says:

        It’s called “the Ferguson effect”.

        Slow response.

        Very hands-on response.

        Drive by seeing nothing and report same.

        There are dozens of ways to sandbag call response, and SCOTUS has already established broad immunity.

        • Ret_25X says:

          this is backed up by both a UNY and UMinn study that have verified that police often refuse to engage in criminal activity or allow perps to walk because they feel that their career is in jeopardy with any given encounter.

          This is bad because such fears are rooted in some reality. But the real problem is that management–both command and political–are often supportive at shift briefing, but not when the protests start.

          The answer, of course, is a return to safety and responsibility where everyone holds themselves responsible rather than acting out any stupidity that comes into their feeble minds.

  10. Anonymous says:

    Hey, they were risking their fat pension and benefits… priorities, man. /sarc

  11. Roh-Dog says:

    Don’t you worry folks! The Po’ will be along shortly to put crime scene markers around your corpse.

    Self defense begins and ends with you!

    On a side note, re Castle and SYG: just because you can (legally) doesn’t mean you should (in the context of ones’ morals and spiritual values. Doubt with action can eat a Man, we aughta remember this).
    But yeah, “Shout, show/shove, shoot” and I’ll vote innocent on that jury any day of the week.
    Damn The Cowards of Broward, fo’real.

  12. Graybeard says:

    The good folks of Broward County need to vote the Adz-joles out of office.

    And if they can find ’em, get lots of guns and ammo.

  13. KoB says:

    Is it an abject lesson on the ills of our society when the same story can make 2 different threads on the same day? When I ran across this the other night at 0GOD15hrs, I was all WTF too. And in a quandary whether to send it in to AW1Ed as a Feel Good Story (crippled citizen stands up to dirtbag scum) or to Mason as a Dumb Cop/Politician news story. My favorite Aunt M___ suffered from the crippling effects of polio as a child. It slowed her down but never stopped her can do spirit. She had a successful career, marriage, raised 2 children (one a Navy Submariner) and doted on numerous grandchildren, nieces, and nephews. She also toted a purse piece alongside her Bible and would pray for a perps Soul as she sent him to Hell.

    I also knew that our LEO Brothers and Sisters here would get a WTF/SMH thing too. Seems as if personal initiative has been taken out of the LEO Community, in some places, and as pointed out in other comments above, it’s show up, don’t get killed, don’t arrest a minority, and where’s my pension. Is this all part of the Master Plan in the destruction of our Society? Or the dumbing down/every person for themself, I got mine, now up yours mofo? Now do we blame the officers that were on the scene, or the systemic refusal of the politicians to realize that there are scummy people out there that just need to be removed from society? YMMV

    Thank God that there are officers and jurisdictions out there that are still doing their job of “Protect and Serve”!

  14. 11B-Mailclerk says:

    Had he shot his attacker, Norkunas would have been promptly arrested. He may have had legal grounds that ultimately prevail, but he would have spent serious money bonding out, seeking counsel, and clearing himself.

    You don’t get any of it back.

    Hm. Did the ballast that was wearing deputy costumes hold back hoping Norkunas would kill the intruder? That was a pretty extreme non-response, “holding the perimeter” indefinitely. (That sounds familiar)

    I said it elsewhere. Fire the entire department and replace. A unit of Eagle Scouts and combat arms vets would do better.

    -eighteen- to one, guns to rock, and still no one found the fortitude to do the Job?

    • UpNorth says:

      On a B&E in progress call, my department would send 2 officers on the call. In 27 years, I went on a few thousand calls like that. Arrested a lot of burglars/prowlers/trespassers and never fired a shot.
      18 deputies? We were lucky if 3d shift had 18 officers for the whole city. Those guys all need to retire or quit. If that’s how they’re trained, the training unit needs to be fired.

      • Ret_25X says:

        this is a command failure. The officers are simply acting out the probably unwritten but well understood guidance of the command.

        Fear of lawsuits is likely an important driver of this, as well as complete cowardice on the part of elected officials.

        Note that this isn’t a problem in Polk County, FL. That tells me that this is not a problem rooted in Fl law, but in weak county leaders.

  15. A Proud Infidel®™ says:

    Isn’t COWARD County known for being a “deep blue” locale known for obvious election fraud as well? just-askin’ for a friend…

    • Anonymous says:

      Home of Brenda Sipes’ midnight delivery of pre-prepared pallots o’ ballots, just like Democrats like to do.

      • Wireman611 says:

        Reported by mistake, fat fingers. But is
        there any doubt this was practice for 2020?
        sorry for the mistake.

        • Anonymous says:

          No problem. Yup, they didn’t change the modus operandi– pallots o’ “found” ballots trucked in after Midnight.

  16. 5JC says:

    I guess my original comments were deleted when the article was reworked. Anyway whatever soup sandwich was being fixed that Sent 18 deputies on a slightly more than routine call was likely at play more so than cowardice. I’d be curious about the dispatch logs and others calls in the area.

  17. Berliner says:

    My theory: Priorities matter! Broward county has 5 Krispy Kreme donuts store locations. 18 cops = minimum 2 dozen donuts. Perhaps the donuts were still warm. Given a choice between consuming warm or cold donuts, warm is best.

  18. Poetrooper says:

    If the reluctance to respond was based on a fear of criminal and financial reprisals for killing a minority perp then whoever was called for the stand down didn’t think the issue all the way through.

    What if the perp had broken through the door and been fatally gunned down by the homeowner while law enforcement dawdled nearby? Wanna bet some ambulance chaser wouldn’t sue on behalf of the perp’s family using the “but for” argument to prove criminal negligence by BCSO?

    “But for” BCSO’s failure to respond timely to the scene, the deceased would not be a BLM martyr.

    As a LEO nowadays, you’re damned if you do and damned if you don’t…

    • Poetrooper says:

      …whoever called for the stand down…

    • Martinjmpr says:

      Nope. SCOTUS has held multiple times that the police have no legally enforceable duty to any one person (nor does the fire dept, nor any other “first responder.”)

      Sure, you can sue anybody for anything but that one gets thrown out at the pleading stage. Again, the police have no legally enforceable duty to anybody.

      • 26Limabeans says:

        “no legally enforceable duty to anybody”

        So, “to serve and protect” needs no asterisk and “Dial 911” needs no disclaimer
        as decaled on the hood, trunk and fenders. Just another ad on the side of a bus.

        • penguinman000 says:

          https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Warren_v._District_of_Columbia

          Basically, law enforcement has no duty to protect individuals until they have a “special relationship”. The definition of “special relationship” is kinda unclear.

          The specifics of the Warren case in particular are horrific.

          For example in the Warren case the cops never made contact with the victims. In the Nichol case they made contact with the victim. The court decision was the same in both cases.

          IMHO the biggest lesson from these cases is be prepared to actively protect you and yours. Plans for self protection are not complete if they consist of just calling 911.

    • 5JC says:

      Trust me you don’t want there to be a duty by law enforcement to act other than where it is already required. Try to imagine what the world would look like if police were required to take action to prevent violations of the law or to protect everyone in society individually. It would be tough for most people to do so but essentially you would create a crazed police state.

      • Martinjmpr says:

        Either that or you would have no police or fire department or any other city services because the city would be bankrupted by frivolous lawsuits.

        Think about it: House catches fire, FD gets there too late to put it out. A few weeks later the FD gets sued: “If you had only driven a little faster, you would have gotten there on time.”

        Paramedics get called to a home for a heart attack. Victim is alive and transported to a hospital where he dies. Victim’s family sues “if only you had done [medical procedure XYZ], our family member would have survived.”

        Cops get called to a fight in a bar. By the time they get there everyone has settled down. Owner of the bar doesn’t want to press charges. Later, one of the participants in the fight comes back with a gun and kills the bouncer. Bouncer’s family sues “If the cops had arrested the shooter, he would not have been able to come back and shoot our family member.”

        Multiply that x every encounter between first responders and the public.

        Frivolous and silly? Yes, but if there is a legally enforceable duty to an individual, that suit goes forward and most likely gets settled because it’s cheaper to settle than to fight. And that, in turn, opens the floodgates.

  19. Sapper3307 says:

    18 Bronze Stars for combat support were awarded.

  20. Thunderstixx says:

    More painfully obvious reasons to carry a firearm, learn how to use it, train with it and carry something like US Law Shield for the protection you would need in that situation.
    Call 911, order two ambulances, one for you, one for the puke and if the cops don’t show up protect yourself as need be then hang up the 911 call and call US Law Shield before you say another word to anyone.
    You will need medical care after a situation like that and it is much better to talk to cops when you are being looked at by an EMT and not in a jail cell after you’ve talked to your attorney !!!
    The best twenty bucks a month you can spend !!!

  21. Docduracoat says:

    Fort Lauderdale is a Democrat majority area and the police are worried that riots will break out if they have to shoot a minority suspect.
    Florida has an excellent stand your ground law, and as soon as the criminal breach of the door you are allowed to open fire.
    Please I want everyone to remember not to shoot through the door, that is legally indefensible.
    Everyone with a gun needs self-defense insurance, US law Shield, Ccw Safe and many other companies offer it for around $300-$400 a year.
    The Ccw Safe product will even defend against a red flag gun confiscation case.