Sergeant fired for inaction while kids were slaughtered in Parkland rehired with backpay

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BROWARD COUNTY, FL – A controversial turn of events has developed regarding one of the law enforcement officials terminated over the response to the Parkland school shooting of 2018 that left 17 dead and 17 injured.

It’s been revealed that Sgt. Brian Miller will be given his job back with the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, based upon the department’s mishandling of his termination.

The infamous shooting in question took place on February 14th, 2018, when former student Nikolas Cruz entered Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School and began gunning down numerous students and staff members.

The officers on scene, including Sgt. Miller, allegedly declined to act during the situation. Sgt. Miller apparently hid behind his vehicle rather than take control of the scene.

As a result, members from the BCSO were terminated in the time following the shooting, with former Deputy Scot Peterson actually being charged and arrested for his alleged inaction during the active shooter situation.

However, both terminations of Peterson and Miller transpired in June of 2019 – 16 months after the events of the tragedy took place.

According to the announcement delivered by the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association Union on May 13th, the BCSO will now be reinstating Sgt. Brian Miller with full back pay and seniority intact.

Considering that Sgt. Miller made $137,000 in 2018, he’s going to get quite the backpay check.

The union stated that the arbitration that led to Sgt. Miller’s return to duty determined that the BCSO had “violated Sgt. Brian Miller’s Constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him.”

As stated above, the rationale behind Sgt. Miller’s original termination last year was that an investigation noted that while the active shooter situation was occurring, he was taking cover behind his squad car rather than directing officers on scene and leading them into the school.

A subsequent report that came to light following Sgt. Miller being relieved of duty stated the following:

“Miller failed to coordinate or direct deputies’ actions and did not direct or coordinate an immediate response into the school… Sergeant Miller’s actions were ineffective and he did not properly supervise the scene.”

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Murdered officer's grave desecrated before headstone even placed

Sheriff Gregory Tony, who had fired Sgt. Miller in 2019, recently commented on the arbitration process that has found that Sgt. Miller will be a part of the BCSO once again:

“You know, the arbitration process is always part of the final aspect of reemploying an employee who was terminated or suffers from some type of disciplinary action that I take, and I understand that that’s always going to be on the table, but that’s not going to change my decision-making in terms of doing what is right for this community. I stood by the termination then and I stand by it now.”

Ryan Petty is the father of 14-year-old Alaina, who was killed during the Parkland shooting. He feels that Sgt. Miller should just resign from his position and be done with it:

“If Sergeant Miller has any honor, he will resign. He owes it to law enforcement officers who risk their lives each and every day.”

The circumstances surrounding the response of the BCSO during the 2018 school shooting has not only created divided opinions, but also divided legal findings. On one hand, you have former Deputy Peterson facing charges of related to his inaction.

Yet, Judge Beth Bloom ruled in December of 2018, when shutting down a lawsuit related to the shooting, that there’s no legal citation that law enforcement has to protect citizens.

Darren Hutchinson, who serves as a professor and associate dean at the University of Florida School of Law, explained why a judge would reach said conclusion:

“Neither the Constitution, nor state law, impose a general duty upon police officers or other governmental officials to protect individual persons from harm — even when they know the harm will occur.

Police can watch someone attack you, refuse to intervene and not violate the Constitution.”

While many folks often associate police officers with being protectors of sorts, Hutchinson explained that the courts have pointed out that individuals are only responsible for the safety of those in their “custody.”

In the Parkland case, this was likely what led to Judge Bloom dismissing the lawsuit against the BCSO:

“Courts have rejected the argument that students are in custody of school officials while they are on campus.

Custody is narrowly confined to situations where a person loses his or her freedom to move freely and seek assistance on their own — such as prisons, jails, or mental institutions.”

Whether one agrees with the reinstatement or not, it seems as though that is what the union determined in the case of Sgt. Miller.

It remains to be seen whether Sgt. Miller will decide to remain working at the department, or as an officer at all.

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