Florida Sheriff’s Deputy Reinstated After Being Fired For Actions During Parkland Shooting
Brian Miller was fired from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office last year for not adequately responding to the shooting. Now that firing has been thrown out by a union arbitrator.
- By Haley Samsel
- May 15, 2020
After being fired for sitting in a parked car during the February 2018 mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, a Florida sheriff’s sergeant has been reinstated to his position with back pay.
Brian Miller, who worked for the Broward County Sheriff’s Office, was fired by Sheriff Gregory Tony for failing to immediately respond or coordinate deputies’ actions during the incident, hiding behind his car and taking “his time putting on a bulletproof vest,” according to the Associated Press.
A union arbitrator dismissed Miller’s firing after finding that his due process rights were violated. Tony fired Miller last June, which was several months after the department was legally allowed to terminate him, NBC News reported.
The general counsel for the sheriff’s office said the decision to reinstate Miller was “based on a technicality” and that they are exploring options to appeal the move. A separate statement from the office said that the arbitrator did not address Miller’s conduct during the Parkland shooting, which the sheriff found to be a fireable offense.
“Nowhere in this decision is he vindicated for his lack of action on that day,” the sheriff’s office wrote.
Since being appointed in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting in early 2019, Tony’s relationship with the union, which represents 1,400 deputies, has quickly deteriorated. He suspended the Local 6020’s president last month before a vote of no-confidence in the sheriff could be filed, The Miami Herald reported.
The sheriff’s office faced harsh criticism following the 2018 shooting, particularly after investigators found that Deputy Scot Peterson, who was assigned to the school, took cover during the shooting and did not enter the building where the shooter killed 17 people. Peterson was fired and is facing child neglect charges.
For now, Miller is set to get his job back, along with his $137,000 per year salary that he was earning in 2018.
Haley Samsel is an Associate Content Editor for the Infrastructure Solutions Group at 1105 Media.