The Florida police officer fired for staying behind in his car after responding to the 2018 mass shooting at a Parkland high school that left 17 dead has his job back.
Sgt. Brian Miller, who works for the Broward County Sheriff’s office was the source of major criticism because many people felt he did not respond how he should have when Nikolas Cruz allegedly opened fire at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School.
A 15-month investigation by the sheriff’s office determined Miller arrived on the scene on Feb. 14, 2018, while gunshots were still being fired, but instead of going inside the school or calling for backup, he remained behind his vehicle and put on a ballistic vest.
Miller called for help five minutes after showing up on the scene and did not direct officers toward the gunshots he’d heard upon arrival, according to the report.
Miller was fired for “neglect of duty” on June 4, 2019, but the Broward Sheriff's Union argued the officer’s rights were violated, claiming the department violated a clause that says Miller had to be notified of his termination within 180 days of his offense. However, he was not notified until two days after the 180 days was up.
The union filed to have a summary judgment on the decision to fire Miller and it was granted. Miller was reinstated Wednesday and is set to receive back pay and have his seniority reinstated as well.
Some people were not pleased at the news. Ryan Petty, the father of Alaina Petty who died in the shooting, said if Miller had any honor he would immediately resign.
“He owes it to law enforcement officers who risk their lives each and every day. He was an absolute failure on 2/14/18,” Petty tweeted.
The sheriff’s office also said they did not agree with the decision and standby their original termination in a statement.
"The arbitrator ruled on the case without conducting any evidentiary hearing whatsoever and without taking the testimony of a single witness," the department said. "The decision was based upon a technicality that we believe was wrongly decided. The arbitrator ruled on a procedural issue that BSO allegedly took too long to conduct the investigation, which is the exact opposite finding of an arbitrator that addressed this same issue in an earlier case. The Broward Sheriff's Office is exploring all legal options to address this erroneous decision.
"The arbitrator did not address the conduct of Sergeant Miller on the day children and adults 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 statement continued.