Deputy Fired for Hiding During Stoneman Douglas Shooting Reinstated
One of four deptuties fired over the response of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, and the first supervisor on scene, has been reinstated via arbitration hearing.
The Broward Sheriff’s Office sergeant who was the first supervisor to respond to the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooting and lost his job after it was found he hid behind his car as the first shots rang out, will be reinstated, awarded full back pay and get back his seniority, the BSO Deputies Association said Wednesday.
Sgt. Brian Miller was one of the four deputies who were terminated because of a “neglect of duty” in the Feb. 14, 2018, Parkland shooting, which killed 17 students and faculty members and injured another 17.
Miller, 57, was paid $138,410.25 in 2017, according to the Sun-Sentinel. The BSO veteran had challenged the decision with union backing. An arbitration ruling found “BSO violated Sgt. Brian Miller’s constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him,” the union said.
BSO fired Miller in June 2019.
On Feb. 14, 2018, Nikolas Cruz, then a 19-year-old former Stoneman Douglas student, entered the school and opened fire, using a semi-automatic rifle to kill the students and staff.
BSO was criticized for its response to the shooting.
Then-Sheriff Scott Israel faced backlash from Broward Deputies Association President Jeff Bell, who said at the time Israel was going after deputies and sergeants by suspending them, but allowed Capt. Jan Jordan to resign.
Jordan took charge of the scene. She arrived within seven minutes of the first shots being fired and did not urge deputies to go into the school, according to reports at the time.
Deputies Edward Eason, Joshua Stambaugh, Scot Peterson and Miller were all fired months after the shootings. The sheriff’s office internal investigation had found they all failed in their duties.
According to a report by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission, which investigated the shootings, Miller was the first supervisor to respond; he arrived as shots were being fired. He hid behind his police cruiser and did not radio in for 10 minutes.