Policeman Who Hid in His Car During School Shooting Gets Reinstated
Seargent Brian Miller was on Wednesday reinstated to his old position with full back pay. Miller was among four Broward County Sherriff’s deputies dismissed for neglect of duty for failing to take action during the 2018 Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting. An investigation into the shooting revealed that the police officer who had responded to the emergency, took his time to put on a bullet proof vest and hid in his car for ten minutes as the shooting went on.
The investigation also found that he never moved even when other officers and deputies were going into the building. The officers were investigated in a 15 month investigation carried out by the sheriff’s office. The investigation came after the Broward County Sherriff’s office received widespread criticism for its handling of the police response. The Sherriff fired Miller 16 months after the massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. He had initially been placed on administrative duty in November 2018. Brian Miller challenged his termination through the union defending his conduct during the shooting that he’d heard the shots but had problems communicating over his radio.
An arbitrator determined that Miller’s due process rights had been violated when he was fired. The Broward Sherriff’s Office released the following statement after Millers’ reinstatement: “The arbitrator did not address the conduct of Seargent Miller on the day children and adults and children 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”. The Sherriff’s office has 90 days to challenge the ruling.
After terminating the four officers, Broward County Sherriff Gregory Tony stated that he was addressing deficiencies and improving the Broward Sherriff’s office. He went on to say that the Sherriff’s office cannot fulfil its commitment to always protect the security and safety of the Broward County community without doing a thorough assessment of what went wrong at the day of the shooting. The results of the investigation also saw criminal charges brought against resource officer Deputy Scot Peterson. The office had received several tips between 2016 and 2017 about threats to carry out a school shooting by a person named Nicolas Cruz.
On January 2018, someone made an anonymous tip to the FBI that Cruz had made a death threat but the complaint was not forwarded to the local FBI office.
On February 14 2018 Nicolas Cruz, a former student at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School stormed the school and went on a shooting spree armed with a semi-automatic AR-15 rifle and killed 14 students and 3 staff members injuring 17 others. The 20 year old shooter later fled the scene on foot by blending with students. He was arrested an hour later in Coral Springs. Cruz pleaded guilty 17 counts of premeditated murder and 17 counts of attempted murder and is awaiting trial in Broward County. The Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting is the deadliest high school shooting in United States history. Sherriff Scott Israel faced criticism for not addressing loopholes that allowed the shooter to legally purchase a firearm despite his long record of threatening behavior. Governor Ron DeSantis suspended Israel in January 2019 and replaced him with the current Sherriff Gregory Tony.