A Broward County police officer who was fired after he hid behind his car at the start of the 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will be reinstated with full back pay and return to his rank, the Broward Sheriff’s Office union said on Wednesday.
The officer, Sergeant Brian Miller, was fired for “neglect of duty” along with three other deputies in the wake of the shooting. Officers were criticized for failing to enter the building immediately during the shooting, in which 17 students and faculty were killed and another 17 injured.
Miller had challenged his termination with the support of the BSO union, which said an arbitration ruling found that “BSO violated Sgt. Brian Millerâ€™s constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him.” Miller’s salary for the year 2017 was $138,410.25.
An investigation by the Marjory Stoneman Douglas Public Safety Commission in the wake of the shooting found that Miller was the first officer to arrive at the high school as shots were being fired, but hid behind his car and did not radio in for 10 minutes.
Florida governor Ron DeSantis, a Republican, in January 2019 suspended Broward County head sheriff Scot Israel, who has been accused of mishandling the BSO’s response to the shooting though a lack of coordination. The Florida Senate Rules Committee in October recommended removing Israel from his post entirely, after which DeSantis appointed officer Gregory Tony to head the BSO. Tony is now facing off against Israel in the 2020 election.