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Sheriff Missed Deadline to Fire Sergeant Who Hid Behind Car During Parkland Mass Shooting, Arbitrator Rules


One of the law enforcement officers who lost their job over the Parkland mass shooting is getting it back. An arbitrator ruled that the due process rights of Broward Sheriff’s Sergeant Brian Miller were violated when Sheriff Gregory Tony fired him, said his union in a report from The South Florida Sun Sentinel. Now he’s owed backpay, hypothetical overtime, medical, paid holidays, and time off.

The Majory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission determined that Miller had botched his response to the Parkland high school mass shooting on February 14, 2018. Even though he was the first supervisor at the scene and heard shots, he spent time putting on his bulletproof vest, hid behind his car, and didn’t get on the radio for 10 minutes, investigators said according to the outlet.

“Miller failed to coordinate or direct deputies’ actions and did not direct or coordinate an immediate response into the school,” the commission wrote. But he wasn’t the only law enforcement officer or guard facing scrutiny and criticism for his response. Even then-Broward Sheriff Scott Israel was raked over the coals in public, and got fired for his behavior amid the shooting. His replacement, Tony, then ousted Miller, and two other deputies.

The arbitrator now rules, however, that Miller’s firing came two days late, after 180 day deadline.

“We were prepared to address the termination of Sgt. Miller’s dismissal on the merits,” his attorney Gary Lippman said in a press conference Thursday. “But preliminarily, we filed the motion for summary judgment because BSO had violated his procedural rights.”

Tony told WPLG he stood by his decision to terminate Miller.

Prosecutors say Nikolas Cruz opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida on February 14, 2018. 17 people were killed: 14-year-old student Alyssa Alhadeff, 35-year-old teacher Scott Beigel, 14-year-old student Martin Duque Anguiano, 17-year-old student Nicholas Dworet, 37-year-old assistant football coach Aaron Feis, 14-year-old student Jaime Guttenberg, 49-year-old athletic director Christopher Hixon, 15-year-old student Luke Hoyer, 14-year-old student Cara Loughran, 14-year-old student Gina Montalto, 17-year-old student Joaquin Oliver, 14-year-old student Alaina Petty, 18-year-old student Meadow Pollack, 17-year-old student Helena Ramsay, 14-year-old student Alexander Schachter, 16-year-old student Carmen Schentrup, and 15-year-old student Peter Wang.

The criminal case against Cruz is ongoing. He remains without bond at the Broward County Jail. The defendant pleaded not guilty.

[Screengrab via WPLG]

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