In the immediate aftermath of Parkland, I had a lot to say over the Broward County Sheriff’s Office and their response to the shooting. In particular, the lack of response. Broward deputies hid outside while children were being gunned down by a freaking maniac.
Much of my focus was school resource officer Scot Peterson, the man charged specifically with protecting the school.
However, he wasn’t alone in dropping the ball. A number of other deputies arrived and took shelter outside, trying to contain the shooter rather than engage him. That went against the established policy, by the way.
Those officers were fired, as was Peterson, and while the former school resource officer is the only one facing charges, they all want their jobs back. Peterson’s bid failed.
A Florida sheriff’s sergeant who lost his job after it was discovered he hid behind his car when a shooter at a high school in Parkland first opened fire will reportedly get his job back with back pay.
Sgt. Brian Miller, of the Broward Sheriff’s Office, was the first supervisor to respond to the 2018 shooting that took the lives of 17 students and staff at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, according to the Sun-Sentinel.
An arbitration ruling this week found the sheriff’s office “violated” Miller’s “constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him,” the BSO Deputies Association, a union that represents deputies and sergeants said, according to the Miami Herald.
Miller will also receive full back pay and get back his seniority. He made more than $137,000 in 2018.
Miller, as the responding sergeant, was likely the one responsible for the other deputies holding back. In other words, he was more responsible than most for the number of lives lost. Only Peterson bears more.
Now, I get that the courts of ruled police don’t have a duty to protect individuals. I understand that completely.
I just don’t care.
Keep in mind that the law in Florida bans people from carrying guns for their own protection on school campuses. In my mind, if the government requires people to be disarmed, then it should assume the responsibility to keep people safe from such attacks to any reasonable extent. Sure, they can’t prevent them from happening, necessarily, but they can at least respond.
Here, the didn’t.
Now, the individual who may well have been the most responsible outside of the officer actually assigned to the school not only gets his job back but gets a huge payment for having done absolutely nothing since 2018. That’s about two years of wages that he didn’t actually earn.
Meanwhile, the next batch of kids will soon return to school so Miller and his fellow deputies can let them all down once again.
The only saving grace is that mass shootings are rare enough that this school should never see one again, at least not for entire generations at the very least. It’s a good thing, too, because those students sure can’t trust the sheriff’s department to come to their rescue.
It should be noted, however, that the arbitrator’s ruling doesn’t really have anything to do with Miller’s actions that day. Instead, the matter is about how his employment was terminated, not whether he did what he was supposed to do at a critical time. They’re not even saying he deserved to keep his job, necessarily. Instead, they’re just saying that the department didn’t go through the correct process to terminate his employment.
That’s an important thing for people, including Miller, to think about.