Sgt. Brian Miller, a deputy from the Broward Sheriff's Office, will be reinstated after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting in Parkland, Florida.
2:19 pm: Nikolas Cruz arrived at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
A mere two minutes later, he entered the school and began firing.
2:23 pm: Scot Peterson, deputy, alerted others through the radio once shots were fired. He was later accused of not taking necessary action and will possibly receive 11 felony counts, as he remained outside the building throughout the short incident.
The shooting lasted about 7 minutes, and Cruz escaped with the students at 2:28 pm.
However, Sgt. Brian Miller was the first officer to report at the scene but didn’t make his first radio transmission until 2:32 pm, nearly 10 minutes after the first shot. The commission claimed, “Any law enforcement officer — regardless of rank — who arrives at the scene of an active shooter while shots are still being fired has an obligation to pursue the sound of those gunshots and confront the shooter, but Sgt. Miller remained behind his car in a position of personal safety.”
Months after the shooting and as investigations proceeded, Sgt. Brian Miller and Scot Peterson, as well as deputies Edward Eason and Joshua Stambaugh were all fired due to neglect of duties. Evidently, the four men did not confront the active shooter who killed 14 students, as well as three faculty members, and injured 17 others.
Sgt. Brian Miller. (Photo obtained from LinkedIn.)
The Breaking News
Sgt. Miller was dismissed on June 4, 2019 and will be reinstated. He will not only receive his badge once again, but he will be granted privileges, such as seniority and back pay for his almost full year off the job.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office was expected to notify Miller of their intended penalty, due to his negligence, within a 180-day window. However, he was fired two days after the deadline, leading to arbitration.
Gary Lippman, his attorney, stated, “We were prepared to address the termination, Sgt. Miller’s dismissal, on the merits. But preliminarily, we filed the motion for summary judgment because BSO had violated his procedural rights.”
Just last week, the arbitrator agreed and claimed that the BSO’s conclusion infringed on Sgt. Miller’s “constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him.”
Despite the commission’s decision to reinstate Sgt. Miller, parents and students of MSD High School are appalled, as well as the sheriff’s office, and still believe his termination was the appropriate course of discipline, considering his inaction during the massacre.
The BSO’s General Council continues to support the dismissal: “The arbitrator ruled on the case without conducting any evidentiary hearing whatsoever and without taking the testimony of a single witness. The decision was based upon a technicality that we believe was wrongly decided. The arbitrator ruled on a procedural issue that BSO allegedly took too long to conduct the investigation, which is the exact opposite finding of an arbitrator that addressed this same issue in an earlier case. The Broward Sheriff’s Office is exploring all legal options to address this erroneous decision.”
“The arbitrator did not address the conduct of Sergeant Miller on the day children and adults were massacred at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while he stood by. Nowhere in the decision is he vindicated for his lack of action on that day.”
Ryan Petty, the father of Alaina, a 14-year-old student killed during the shooting, stands by his opinion: “If Sgt. Miller has any honor, he will immediately resign. He owes it to law enforcement officers who risk their lives each and every day. He was an absolute failure on 2/14/2018.”
Sheriff Gregory Tony, from BSO, also publicly supports the many parents, teachers, and students who believe the termination was deemed necessary. “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.”
(Photo: Orlando Weekly by Monivette Cordeiro)
Information obtained from:
CBS: "Broward Sheriff Sergeant Brian Miller Fired For Inaction During Parkland Shooting To Get Job Back"
Cetoute, Devoun and Carli Teproff: "Florida Sergeant Fired Over Response in Parkland Mass Shooting Given Job Back"
Lynch, Jamiel: “Florida Officer Fired for His Response during Parkland Shooting Will Get His Badge Back”
Mark, Michelle: “A Sheriff's Deputy Who Was Fired after Hiding behind His Car during the Parkland School Shooting Will Be Reinstated”
Mark, Michelle and Kieran Corcoran: “This Timeline Shows Exactly How the Parkland Shooting Unfolded”