Manuel Oliver knocked a former school resource officer and his attorney for “celebrating” after the officer was found not guilty of all charges related to his actions around the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Fla.
“These guys are celebrating today. He said he got his life back. They’re going to the Vatican. They thanked the Lord. Apparently their Lord is a different Lord than Joaquin’s Lord,” Oliver, whose son Joaquin died in the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, said on CNN.
“He decided to give this guy his life back, which is not in any way, in any way, comparable to losing life,” he added.
Gunman Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and injured 17 others during the shooting on Valentine’s Day in 2018 — and has been sentenced to life in prison without parole, serving 34 life terms for the victims. The tragedy prompted the survivor-founded gun control movement March for Our Lives.
Scot Peterson, a former school resource officer on duty at the Parkland high school during the shooting, faced criticism over not confronting Cruz. On Thursday, a jury acquitted Peterson of all 11 counts that Peterson was facing related to his actions back in 2018.
“The attorney said it’s been four years of pain. Tell me about that pain … You’re celebrating today for every member of law enforcement, for every police officer, including the Uvalde ones,” Oliver said of Peterson, referencing the shooting in Texas last year in which a gunman killed 19 children and two teachers at the elementary school. “You, Mr. attorney, you’re celebrating the fact that this person that obviously, obviously made a mistake and needs to be accountable, is now happy with his life.”
“I think that the right thing to do, the manly thing to do, the honest thing to do is to walk out of that quiet room. Be quiet. Mr. attorney and Scott Peterson, keep your mouth shut,” he continued. “Get in your car and go to your perfect life. But don’t cry in front of national TV.”
Oliver has become an outspoken activist against gun violence in the years since the shooting that killed his son.
He was escorted out of a White House event last year for interrupting President Biden during a speech on the bipartisan gun control bill, and was arrested earlier this year for disrupting a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing on gun regulation.
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