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Parkland Cop Fired for Hiding Behind His Car During the School Shooting is Getting His Job Back

Parkland Cop Fired for Hiding Behind His Car During the School Shooting is Getting His Job Back

Will also receive back pay

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EInCPEuD9mY

Brian Miller, the sheriff’s sergeant who was fired for failure to act while a mass shooting was happening at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, is getting his job back. Complete with back pay.

Miller had been the first supervisor on the scene and reportedly, was able to hear gun shots. Miller hid behind his car, put on a vest, and didn’t bother radioing anyone for a solid 10 minutes while the shooting went on.

Miller will be reinstated after the Broward County Sheriff’s Union found he was not granted due process before being fired.

The Sun SentinelSun Sentinel has more:

A sheriff’s sergeant who was fired for sitting in his car and failing to react while a gunman slaughtered students at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School will get his job back.

An arbitrator has dismissed the case against Brian Miller. According to a statement from the union that represents deputies and sergeants, the arbitrator found that the Broward County Sheriff’s Office violated Miller’s due process rights when Sheriff Gregory Tony  terminated him long after state law allowed it.

Miller was fired in June, 16 months after former student Nikolas Cruz killed 17 people and wounded 17 more with an AR-15 rifle on Feb. 14, 2018.

Miller will received considerable money when reinstated. He was paid more than $137,000  in 2018. That includes a year’s salary, any overtime that he would have received, as well as medical reimbursements, paid holidays and time off.

Cruz’s rampage exposed widespread failures at the Sheriff’s Office. The deputy assigned to the school, Scot Peterson, was charged with multiple counts of child neglect. Peterson was widely criticized for taking cover outside the school while Cruz was gunning down people inside. But the criticism didn’t stop with Peterson.

Broward Sheriff Scott Isreal was ousted over the department’s failures in Parkland and at a mass shooting a year earlier at Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport. His replacement, Tony, canned Miller and then deputies Joshua Stambaugh and Edward Eason a few weeks later.

I’m not sure exactly where it falls in the rankings of “most crooked counties in America,” but Broward County stinks to high heaven.

Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel was run out of his post in the aftermath of the Parkland shooting. A decision the state Supreme Court upheld.

Former Broward County Deputy Sheriff Scot Peterson was charged with 11 counts, all related to the Parkland shooting.

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Comments

It’s called Coward County for a reason.

This is where community shaming and shunning comes in.

    rangered in reply to Sally MJ. | May 15, 2020 at 7:08 am

    When first made aware of Deputy Wilson’s cowering behind his vehicle, I wondered how long before the public shame would lead him to end his own life…..but no, he chose to proudly stand up in front of the cameras, arbitration boards and labor hearings, revel in his victimhood and demand that society reward him for his dereliction. My G*d, how far we have sunk?

Subotai Bahadur | May 14, 2020 at 6:10 pm

Noting that I am a long retired Commissioned Peace Officer in my state [28 years with the Department I retired from] I would like to point out that there is a form of competition between LEA’s. There are a limited number of high quality potential recruits. There are a lot more mid-range possible recruits. And yes, there are a lot of more recruits that if you are a good department you really do not want.

If you are good, and know that you have the training, background, and ability to do well as a cop; would you want to work for Broward County if you had any better alternative? If you were a mid-range recruit, would Broward County be your first choice? What does that leave Broward County?

Subotai Bahadur

I’m not sure exactly where it falls in the rankings of “most crooked counties in America”

In a really crooked county like, say, Cook in Illinois, I imagine nobody would have been fired even temporarily.

This seems like a bad idea. No matter the administrative law aspects this is seen by the public as:

1. School shooting occurs
2. Sheriff SGT shows up and takes tactical command but stays behind the cover of his vehicle.
3. More victims shot
4. Dude is fired, then reinstated with back pay.

Going forward folks are going to be less willing to defer action to the ‘authorities’ when:
1. They didn’t follow Hannah’s have been instituted; go inside, find and stop shooter. That is the only proper response.
2. That when the authorities fail they are not held accountable.

So in sum unless every local PD and Sheriff department immediately gets in front of the local parents to assure them that they will go in, find and stop a shooter, then they should expect to find a bunch of armed parents in ad hoc tactical teams doing their Damn job for them.

No crying and moaning from the authorities if they are unable to convince parents that they will act to defend the kids.

    Close The Fed in reply to CommoChief. | May 14, 2020 at 7:15 pm

    A sheriff in a nearby county to me did this with his officers. Told them if they would have a problem with going in, in such a situation, to confront a shooter, that they should quit.

    Mac45 in reply to CommoChief. | May 15, 2020 at 3:31 pm

    Just a few things here, Chief.

    First, your timeline is wrong. Miller arrived when the last few shots, which were being fired at a 3rd floor window, were being discharged. Then all was quiet. Also, when Miller arrived there had been a report, from another deputy, that shots had been fired on the athletic field, adding to the confusion. I posted a better timeline below as well as a link to the Miami Herald article laying this all out.

    The second thing is the duration of the incident. It lasted all of 5 & 1/2 minutes. Hardly enough time to notify parents or other members of the community of the incident, let alone organize and mount a response, let alone an active response. So, what exactly do you expect people to do here?

    The problem with this whole incident was the initial lack of effective entry control, at the school. That, coupled with the failure of the three school employees, who saw the shooter on campus with a rifle case and knew he did not belong there, to notify the office on their radios allowed this to happen. Once the shooting starts, it is a matter of response. And, no matter what the response, once the shooting starts, there will be casualties.

      CommoChief in reply to Mac45. | May 15, 2020 at 6:22 pm

      Mac45,

      Since I am not going to take the time to re-read the report I am happy to grant your timeline.

      What am I saying?

      The PERCEPTION among parents regardless of the facts are that this guy didn’t truly assume tactical command nor did anyone else for a couple of critical minutes. Further that, as you stated he didn’t enter while shots are still being fired. Instead he waited until the firing stopped, as you also stated. He was eventually fired and now is reinstated with back pay.

      So what PD and Sheriff should do IMO, is work to reassure parents that they will upon arrival and certainly for every officer already on site:
      1. Move to sound of the gunfire
      2. Locate and ID shooter
      3. Stop the shooter using an appropriate level of force. If the shooter drops weapon, displays empty hands and is obedient to commands then I don’t expect him to be killed out of hand.
      4. Perimeter cordon can be done by Slater arriving personnel, to suggest that a quiet period after shots means don’t go inside not going to fly. Your argument does not convince me that the shooter isn’t using the quiet period to move into another location seeking another set of potential victims.

      Now if these departments are unwilling to do so they need to foresee the consequences of that. Namely, that parents may show up, with arms, form ad hoc tactical teams and do what I described above. I live very close to my daughter’s school, and am personally ready to do what I described. From personal knowledge others are as well. All of have experience clearing buildings.

      No we don’t want to do that. We realize it will create a confusing and chaotic scene. Who are good guys who are bad guys? Very volatile situation. However, since I believe we would all agree that the above situation should be avoided, I merely suggest that the departments:

      1. Work to avoid that situation by convincing parents that it isn’t necessary by showing their plan. It ain’t exactly secret information.
      2. Build their response planning to encompass that scenario, where unidentified blue force may very well be present.
      3. Drop the whole ‘we are law enforcement but you ain’t’ mentality. That is a lazy and condescending attitude that is an extension of the ‘badge and gun’ BS mindset that some officers and sadly some entire departments have adopted.

      Really point 3 is the key. That unfortunate mentality may be enough for most circumstances. It isn’t going to fly when folks kids are in danger. A prudent department will work to avoid a bad outcome when one is eminently foreseeable.

        Mac45 in reply to CommoChief. | May 16, 2020 at 12:40 pm

        Look, I actually did this for a living for over three decades and what you are proposing is overly simplistic and naive.

        Perception not based upon verified facts is dangerous. It caused the reaction to the COVID virus. It has caused untold riots and other instances of wholly unwarranted civil unrest. Perception is often nothing more than delusion.

        So, again, here is the time line with regard to Miller. As he arrived and was still in his car, the firing stopped. He got out of the car, and donned a bullet proof vest from the vehicle trunk. So, he is geared up and there are no more gun shots. Should he have assumed command of the scene at that point? Yes. It was required under department P&P that, as ranking officer on the scene, he was required to assume command control. He did not and was, therefor, subject to disciplinary action. Now, such action could include anything from a reprimand to termination. The department chose termination. The kicker is that the department has rules for such action. And, they violated those rules. In fact, Miller was terminated almost 18 months AFTER the incident.

        Here is the problem with your simplistic response protocol.

        1) All the responding LEOs know is that there is someone shooting inside the building. They have no idea how many people are actively involved, what they are armed with or exactly where they are.

        2) Move to the sound of gunfire gives a responder an idea where the shooter(s) is. However, what do you do if there is no gunfire? Then you have have to clear the building as you go. Otherwise, the shooter can simply step out of a room and shoot you in the back. This ends the effective response right there. Also, simply running toward the sound of the gunfire is not the best tactic in the world, especially if you have very limited forces. A center-fire rifle round will usually go right through the bullet resistant vets issued to street cops. One or two responders running through a doorway or down a hall can be wiped out quickly by a rifleman, especially with a high capacity semi-automatic weapon. No more response. Responders have to make a controlled, effective, tactical advance or they, and the victims, lose. Also, crowded venues are particularly difficult to engage a lone shooter in. People do not merely hit the deck when they hear gunfire, they tend to run around, often away from the shooter. this means that they tend to run toward responders. And they do not run in orderly columns, but willy-nilly. This means that they both tend to screen the shooter and end up catching rounds fired by the responders. The news media was very discreet with regard to the number of innocent patrons who were hit by police gunfire during the initial moments of the incident. It is not like television of the movies, where bystanders scatter leaving the two antagonists alone in the street. Experienced LEOs hate the active shooter protocol, especially with regard to schools. The odds of a child catching a police round is quite high. And, not only does the LEO have to live with the knowledge that he killed a child, but he will likely be crucified by the media and parents.

        3)The situation will dictate when and how much force is applied. An unidentified person, actively firing a weapon, will most likely be shot immediately. To wait to issue commands and see whether the shooter responds can result in even more casualties. An armed person, not actively firing, will likely be given an opportunity to surrender.

        4)Once the shooting stops, two things happen. The first is that the response has to slow. As you note, the shooter could well be moving. However, now the responders have no idea exactly where he is or what his intentions are. This means that, to avoid being ambushed, the entry team has to clear the building as they go. This most likely increases the time to contact. And, if he is not not shooting, it is unlikely that further casualties are occurring. Now, about perimeters. With an unknown armed and dangerous subject inside a building, whose location is unknown, the danger to the surrounding community has to be considered. To simply allow such a person free rein may result in additional casualties over a much wider area. Also, it may prove difficult to identify the shooter quickly, once he has escaped. Perimeters can be set at the same time as entry is made. But, you have to set-up the perimeter as soon as you have enough personnel to do so, if no active shooting is occurring.

        Now suppose you are armed and you race into your daughter’s school during a shooting incident and LEOs are already on scene or are arriving. What identifies you as a good guy? Your nifty Grateful Dead t-shirt? Your heroic jawline? Now, here is where perception comes in. What you appear to be is an unknown person armed with a firearm at the scene of an active shooting incident. Are you trained on how to react if confronted by a LEO under those circumstances? Will you unthinkingly move your muzzle in the direction of the person telling you to freeze? Maybe. We have several plainclothes LEOs get shot by uniformed LEOs every year, because they do something stupid under stress. So,, you are correct. The number of armed people on such a scene is to be avoided.

        The problem that delayed responses to this type of incident always results in to things; innocent casualties and horrific confusion. Schools and other institutions are really pretty simple to secure. Limit the points of ingress to one or two. Scan all people entering for weapons. Have armed, trained personnel at the checkpoint to attempt to thwart an armed attack at those points. And, to deal with an incursion which gets on campus, have a trained rapid response team on campus to deal with such an occurrence. The problem with all of this is that school systems do not want to spend the money to do this it IS expensive, especially if you are dealing with a 250-300 school district. And, statistically, the occurrence of school invasions is only slightly greater than being struck by lightning. So, what you end up with is essentially NO security at a school.

        Now about your complaint about LEO mentality. LE is a job that almost everyone thinks they can do and do better than those trained to do it. Read the responses here, if you do not believe that. It is perfectly alright for a layman to analyze and evaluate LE performance. Lord knows there are some ill-trained and/or stupid LEOs out there. But, if you are going to do that, then you have tppo have knowledge of the job to make an accurate assessment

        One more thing, liability. Every school board in the state of Florida can have its own sworn LEA as well as armed security guards. So, why do they all want to use SROs from local LEAs? Liability. They do not want to deal with false arrest or excessive force suits or any of that. So they dump it all off on the local PD.

        Look, if people want their children safe from an invasive school shooting, then they have to pay for adequate security. If not, then they have no grounds for complaint if a person walks onto a school campus and shoots little Johnny or Jill. Of course, in Florida, no one seems to want to do that. The current security requirements, for schools in the state, are the same as those in place at MSDHS on February 14, 2018.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | May 16, 2020 at 12:45 pm

          “The news media was very discreet with regard to the number of innocent patrons who were hit by police gunfire during the initial moments of the incident” should read. “The news media was very discreet with regard to the number of innocent patrons who were hit by police gunfire during the initial moments of the PULSE NIGHTCLUB incident”. Sorry.

          CommoChief in reply to Mac45. | May 16, 2020 at 1:35 pm

          Mac45,

          We are not going to agree on this.

          School shootings are, generally speaking a different situation than a terrorist attack, industrial attack, 1970’s airplane hijacking etc. The difference is in the level of training, experience, motivation and armament of the shooter.

          I don’t remember any school shooting utilizing automatic weapons. Nor do I recall one with more than three active participants.

          Again my point is that once the shooting begins the only way to ensure it stops is to:
          1. Move to the gunfire
          2. Locate and ID shooter
          3. Stop the shooter

          You seem to be saying that departments should instead:
          1. Wait until multiple units arrive
          2. Wait for a supervisor to assume control

          By the time that occurs:
          1. Shooter will have already killed in one area
          2. May be moving to another adjacent or distant area for specific or general targets

          This is the quiet pause period. Maybe the shooter has killed himself, maybe he drops his weapon and is waiting for the PD to be arrested. Could be be setting up a sniper position in a predetermined location to bring automatic weapons fire onto responding PD, I wouldn’t rule it out but that is a very small percentage of occurring.

          From the experience in other events we can really bring it down to two choices by the shooter at this point:
          1. They have stopped and won’t restart because they:
          A. Killed the actual target of their attack
          B. The enormity of their actions causes them to freeze up
          C. They kill themselves
          OR
          2. They are moving to another location to kill more kids

          So my position is that the response is to at a minimum move to the sound of gunfire. That officer can then report location and assume overwatch position if not presented with an opportunity to end the shooter.

          This way eyes are on the shooter at a minimum. That officer will then be able to:
          1. Direct others to the location, trapping the shooter between these informed and maneuvered units vs a blind situation you describe as more desirable
          2. Potentially take a shot on the shooter
          3. Potentially talk the shooter down

          Mac45 I respect your LEO background. My Dad and Granddad and Father in law were cops. So please don’t be offended here. When you state that ‘I have over thirty years experience doing this’ do you mean that every day of every year you responded to an active shooter or conducted building clearance?

          I and many other vets have conducted building clearance. Personally I estimate over two thousand and less than three thousand. By those I mean an entire building complex. Not an apartment in a complex. This doesn’t include the time spent training to do that. I am not unique in those experiences. I would venture that I and other vets have vastly more experience than almost every LEO when it comes to clearing a building complex.

          So that leaves us back at my original argument. PERCEPTION of parents that LEO won’t move to the sound of the guns and eliminate the threat until overwhelming force arrives. That instead, they will establish an outer cordon PRIOR to entry.

          You seem to be arguing that nothing is wrong with that because the shooter might employ an automatic weapon or complex ambush against responding LEO. IMO, both seem extremely remote possibilities. In making those points to advance your argument you have instead confirmed that the PERCEPTION of the parents and the public is correct.

          Namely that somehow the lives of kids should be sacrificed in order to ensure LEO safety. The only logical conclusion of your argument is that it is more important for LEO to go home safely at the end of their shift than stop an active school shooter.

          To be clear, in almost every other situation the public would agree. Not in a school shooting. If LEO, individually and department policy, are unwilling to accept that reality and public expectation they should resign.

          Mac45 in reply to Mac45. | May 16, 2020 at 8:47 pm

          First of all, what does automatic weapons have to do with anything. The rate of firs for a high capacity semiautomatic weapon is almost as fast as that of a full automatic weapon and is often more accurate. And, most bullet resistant vests, worn by road patrol officers, are rated to stop centerfire rifle bullets. Also, the Columbine shooting was accomplished by two shooters, both high school students, and they had IEDs, which failed to detonate. In fact, the shooters were engaged by the SRO, before entry, but was driven off by return fire. The same level of security existed at Columbine in 1999 as was in place at MSDHS 19 years later.

          Yes, responding units are taught to move to the sound of gunfire, attempt to locate and engage the shooter and neutralize him. But, again, what if there is NO sound of gunfire? How then do you move toward it? How do you then locate an armed person in a multistory building having multiple rooms, hallways and stairwells? Tactical protocols, in that case require that the building be cleared as the entry team moves through it.

          Now every single LEA in America trains its people to enter in teams of at least 2 armed individuals and preferably 4 man teams. They assume a diamond formation and either move toward the sound of gunfire or sweep the building. Most LEAs require that the most senior or highest ranking officer, on scene assume command and control of the scene, until relieved. A supervisory officer does not have to be present for action to be taken.

          Now, a reality check. Almost all invasion style attacks require a response from defenders. A good LE response, from off-site, is from 3-6 minutes. And the active shooting phase, of most of these incidents, is about the same time 3-7 minutes. The reason for that is because the shooter either runs out of targets, runs out of ammo or shoots himself to avoid capture. In the MSDHS shooting, the shooting phase lasted 5 and 1/2 minutes. Then the shooter dropped his weapon and left the building, wearing a MSDHS ROTC shirt.

          The problem that responding units face, when trying to find an armed man in a large building when they do not have a source of gunfire to follow, is that they have NO idea where the subject is. He could be on any floor, in any room, in a stairwell, on the other side of the next doorway or gone. So, movement through the building has to be a slow tactical advance. So, let’;s say the entry team races upo the south stairway to the third floor where they suspect the shooter to be. But, the shooter has moved down to the second floor and begins shooting that floor up as he walks, trots or runs down the hallway. OOPSY. And, we do not know WHY they stopped shooting. Are they out of ammo, targets, suffered a serious malfunction, killed them selves or are they making an escape?

          Moving a recon unit into a situation like this is not a bad idea. If it is a single man, he may be able to relay information to other responding units [unless the radio system is not working well, as was the case at MSDHS]. He might even get lucky and be able to engage and neutralize the shooter. And even if he is gunned down by the shooter, it is a win for the LEA which now has a dead hero cop who “tried”.

          So, exactly how many buildings have you searched? How many occurred with an active shooter inside? How many were done by a single person, rather than a team or squad? How many were done while responding to a school being shot up? Military security teams do practice active shooter response. But, in most cases their protocols are the same as they are for civil LE.

          Again with the automatic weapon? What is with you? What is the point of entering a build where an armed person is thought to be present? To keep that person from shooting other people, right? So, if a team, or worse, a single individual races willy-nilly through the building, without having any idea where the armed person may be, how exactly does this accomplish the mission? If the responder is neutralized, the mission is a failure and the armed attacker continues creating casualties. More of the children die.

          What you are doing is making unwarranted assumption concerning an active shooting situation. Your biggest mistake is assuming that the responding LEOs will prevail in the confrontation. Maybe they will. Then again, maybe they won’t. How do we maximize the likelihood of accomplish the mission and stopping the shooter? By having sufficient force and better tactics, not by having dead cops that we can display like trophies under a sign that says, “We Tried”. Making the public “feel good” is not the LEO’s job.

          Now, you know why the parents and the community always blame LE for these shootings? Guilt. That’s right. These thing occur because the parents and community do not demand that school districts provide adequate security to prevent this from happening. So, they look for someone in authority to blame. And, the cops are handy. The Sheriff who handled the Columbine shooting did everything by the book. His department ran a classic tactical operation. But, children died and so somebody had to be held accountable. So, to appease the mob, changes were made in the active shooter protocol in order to allow the public to perceive that they and their children were now safe. This was a totally false perception, of course. But people didn’t care. Now here we are 20 years later and in a situation where 11 people were dead before the first deputy arrived on the scene and before the department even knew the problem existed, it is again, all the fault of the LEOs. So, what was done to keep this from happening again? Well, after the hand wringing and pearl clutching of the MSDHS Shooting Commission and the allocation of millions of additional dollars by the state legislature, the required level of security in Florida schools is exactly what was in place at MSDHS on the day of the shooting there. Wait. The exact same level of security which failed to stop the attack at MSDHS is now the required amount of security at Florida schools, you ask incredulously. That’s right. And what about the parents marching on the school board offices demanding more security? Only crickets. Even after the attack, there were a number of parents who argued vehemently against increasing security because they did not want the school to look like a “prison”. This is fine. It is democracy at work. But, if you do nothing to ensure the safety of your children and they are injured or killed, you have no grounds to complain.

          CommoChief in reply to Mac45. | May 17, 2020 at 1:17 am

          Mac45,

          Dude, as I stated, we ain’t going to agree. So the short version is no sale, I don’t buy what you are offering.

          You think it’s fine and dandy for LEO to NOT move to the sound of the gunfire in a school shooting. You offered several reasons for this stance. You opinion is your opinion.

          I believe the opposite and offered equally valid reasons and justifications. My opinion is my opinion.

          This conversation with you reminds me of a scene in Blade runner. The Captain is leaning on Decker to resume work and find the replicants. Decker is refusing until the Captain tells him ‘when you aren’t a Cop then you’re little people’.

          The recent actions by various individual LEO and some whole departments coupled with our conversation has convinced me that every single department must have a civilian review board. That board would be the final word on setting and revising policy and procedures.

          That board would be empowered to invoke non judicial punishment similar to the UCMJ. That department would be empowered to terminate and discipline officers. That board would be empowered to make criminal referrals to State and Federal agencies.

          No more unionized LEO. No more internal affairs, every accusation referred for investigation outside the department, because they can’t be trusted to do the right things.

          As I stated, my Dad, Granddad and Father in law were all cops. I want to believe in the thin blue line. My faith has been shattered over the last few years and especially in the last few months. This conversation has been your opportunity to bring me back into the fold of folks who actively support LEO.

          Your insistence on attempting to assign guilt to the community for a perceived lack of funding is repugnant. Your consistent attempts to deflect and duck and dodge while raising straw man arguments are wholly unconvincing. Your refusal to recognize the fact that others, besides LEO, have actual relevant experience is damming. The condescending attitude which permeates every point you attempt to make is palpable. In short I remain not only unconvinced but also amazed that you would make such a completely wrongheaded approach to convert me. Instead you have offended me, intentionally or not.

          For the last time. The PERCEPTION of the public that LEO place a higher value on their own lives than that of children in a school shooting has been confirmed by you in our conversation. That wasn’t a very high hurdle for you to overcome and yet you failed to convince me and likely others reading this.

          The choice for LEO in some future school shooting is simple. LEO goes in and puts an end to it. Great, no problem. What LEO can’t do is refuse to go in and stop the shooter while telling parents they can’t go in either. So be willing to do so or get out of the way of those who will.

          Mac45 if you are still a LEO or advise those who are then please don’t make an additional error in drawing down on parents. These parents would prefer to let LEO to save their kids but are willing to do that if LEO won’t. These parents are only there because you and other LEO are making it clear to them that you will not act until the shooting stops. That simply isn’t good enough. Not by a long way.

          The parents and the general public expect LEO to meet their moral obligation in a school shooting scenario. If any LEO won’t or can’t then they should simply man up and say so. After all not everyone is cut out to potentially die in defense of others. It would be better if they admitted it.

          They should then resign instead of drawing a public salary while praying that no one finds out they are moral and physical cowards who will refuse to move to the sound of the gunfire in a school, instead choosing to disgracefully cower behind cover. While kids are being shot, while the shooter might be moving to another part of the building to kill more kids.

I am sure people in that county are very comforted that this coward is back to defending them. I guess this is like leading from behind.

Due process? He didn’t do his job. He hid. He abrogated his responsibility as a LEO, how is this considered justice?

Well, the Sarge better watch out for Karma. It’s a bitch !

Close The Fed | May 14, 2020 at 7:16 pm

I’m disappointed in the union. I understand they want to support their members, but over how many dead bodies? I would think not over 2 or 3 would be acceptable.

I wonder if it would be possible for the parents of the slain students to bring a class action lawsuit against the county and the sheriff’s department for gross negligence.

    The Packetman in reply to Shadow5. | May 15, 2020 at 7:01 am

    Nope … SCOTUS has ruled at least once that police are under NO obligation to help you in time of need (Castle Rock?).

      CommoChief in reply to The Packetman. | May 15, 2020 at 12:51 pm

      Packetman,

      I don’t think that is totally settled. SCOTUS ruled, correctly IMO, that the PD doesn’t owe a specific individual(s) a general obligation to prevent crime. That is correct, otherwise every mugging victim could use the PD, which is crazy.

      In this instance though we have the Sheriff assigning officers to a particular location, the school. Part of the reason for assignment has to be the threat of an active shooter.

      So while the PD and Sheriff don’t have a specific obligation to protect general public, I believe that a good case could be made that they do have an affirmative duty to protect in the specific locations that they themselves have chosen for the assignment of officers.

      That is at a minimum, still an open question as far as I can determine.

Old joke – “When seconds count, police are only minutes away” – Bad enough that call and travel time is an issue (no fault of the officers), but adding another 10 minutes to build up an “officer’s” courage certainly doesn’t help Broward’s reputation as Coward County.

    Walker Evans in reply to tlcomm2. | May 15, 2020 at 10:52 pm

    Not a joke at all, just the unvarnished truth. This has been a catch-phrase of the civilian carry movement for years and explains why so many people carry daily; unless you live in a police station the odds are that a LEO will not be on scene when you need one. Your defense ultimately rests with you and a prudent person, understanding this, provides accordingly.

    Antifundamentalist in reply to tlcomm2. | May 15, 2020 at 11:31 pm

    That isn’t a joke. Never heard it told as a joke: It is a statement of fact.

I have lived in Broward for just over 20 years, the Sheriff’s Department has been gaining more and more power in each passing year. It has a long history of politicalization and corruption. The office of sheriff is as much politics as it is public safety.
Stories like this are just what only what the media is reporting, it is much more extensive and goes much deeper.
One final thing, who in their right mind would include anticipated overtime pay in any type of award.

Gremlin1974 | May 14, 2020 at 8:53 pm

And this is why public sector unions should be outlawed.

    Milwaukee in reply to Gremlin1974. | May 15, 2020 at 12:07 pm

    I agree with proposal “no public sector unions”.
    But, unless in an “at will” state, even if you are, if employer has a process for termination, the process needs to be followed. Administrators didn’t follow the process. The fault here, seems to be with incompetents who hired him, supervised his employment, and couldn’t figure out how to fire him.

The Friendly Grizzly | May 14, 2020 at 10:49 pm

I believe the Supreme Court ruled that law-enforcement people are under no obligation to actually defend the public. I think that’s why this clown got away with it.

$137k? Why do cops claim they’re underpaid?

Management took 16 months to fire him and didn’t get the paperwork right. Blame union, yes, but there’s a contract. If management negotiated a contract which doesn’t allow for termination of such an incompetent, shame on them. Fault her lies with management. Over time administrators get cozy with union leaders. Too bad the county is lacking competent legal counsel.
Don’t hate the players, hate the game.

    Milwaukee in reply to Milwaukee. | May 15, 2020 at 2:07 am

    Many years ago I taught in Iowa and heard the story of two school districts. The first had a teacher who was notorious for being absent without leaving lesson plans. The principal met with said teacher each time, with a witness. Each time told teacher this was unacceptable, instructed the teacher as to what was expected in lesson plans, and gave the teacher a letter explaining how what happened was unacceptable, and outlining what was expected. The teacher signed each letter acknowledging receipt of instructions on what to do. After 11th absence, teacher terminated. Union appealed to state Supreme Court. Termination upheld.
    Next district had same situation. This principal wasn’t as industrious. After each absence without lesson plans the offending teacher was chewed out, but no letters were written. Teacher terminated, termination appealed, and overturned. If management didn’t think it warranted documenting, the teacher was justified in thinking it wasn’t that important. Termination is difficult for employers.

    randian in reply to Milwaukee. | May 15, 2020 at 10:38 am

    They probably didn’t get the paperwork right on purpose. I’ve seen that kind of thing before from public employee’s unions.

      Milwaukee in reply to randian. | May 15, 2020 at 12:12 pm

      The unions didn’t fill out the paperwork. The administrators filled out the paperwork. Incorrectly. Now they sit back and say “we tried to fire him. Tough union.”

      Incompetent management.

        CaptTee in reply to Milwaukee. | May 15, 2020 at 1:22 pm

        The paperwork should have been done by the original sheriff who was fired. But, he couldn’t do it without implicating himself.

        At least now the new sheriff can document his work and demote him for lack of leadership.

      Milwaukee in reply to randian. | May 15, 2020 at 12:55 pm

      The relationship between employees and management is different in the private sector from public sector. Public sector unions can influence elections for school board and city council. In the public sector there’s more of a symbiotic relationship, and each side does not want to push the other too hard. Teachers, for example, know they can outlast students, administrators, and school board members.

It appears that cowardice is a prime union trait. Perhaps even a requirement. I’ll bet the rank and file are proud. Something is terribly wrong to promote hiding while school children are killed.

I see that the misinformation on this incident still abounds in the media. Let me set you people straight here.

First, as, senior officer on the scene and a sergeant, Miller should have taken control of the scene. Should his failure to do so have resulted in termination? It usually does not, but it could have.

Now to the actual incident itself. The shooter entered the unsecured campus carrying what was clearly identifiable as a rifle case. He is seen on three separate occasions by three school employees, all of whom had radios and all of whom failed to notify the office of his presence, as he walked to Bldg 12. The first that the Broward Sheriff’s Office knew of the incident was when Dep. Peterson arrived at the building and heard the last few shots fired on the first floor. All of the casualties, on that floor had already occurred. And, it is over a minute and a half since Cruz first opened fire. Dep. Peterson chose not to enter the building immediately. Whether this was a good idea or not has been hotly debated. However, no active shooter training program instructs officers to enter singly, the minimum number being two. Peterson, seemingly overwhelmed by the incident fails to exercise adequate control of the scene and response. Now, I’ll explain this later, but the protocol for thee active shooter incidents changes, when the shooting stops. At that point the response changes from an immediate entry to stop an active shooter to containment with a controlled response to locate an armed intruder in a barricaded subject/hostage situation.

Now Miller arrives five minutes after the shooting has started and at the same time as the last shots are fired. Five other deputies have arrived approximately 30 seconds ahead of Miller. At this point, Miller should have taken command of the scene, gotten a sitrep from Peterson and directed other on-scene units to converge on the building. None of this happened and this is where the situation really broke down.

In less than a minute of Miller’s arrival, the shooter has dropped his weapon on the third floor landing of the building and is running down the stairs and out a side door to the building. He escapes. The entire shooting incident took five and a half minutes from first shot to the shooter exiting the building. In contrast, in the Virginia Beach shooting, the first officers arrived within one minute, from the police station across the street, but did not enter the building for another 5 minutes. They encountered the armed suspect about a minute later, engaged in a short firefight with him, in which one officer was shot and incapacitated. The gunman retreated to an office space, where he was contained until SWAT arrived and made entry nearly 15 minutes later. The VB cops were hailed as heroes, by the way.

The District Commander for BSO’s Parkland District requested that a perimeter be established while she responded to the scene. But, with little or no active on-scene command, this was not done. The school’s CCTV security monitors were checked, but being on a 20 minute delay, due to a rewind, they still showed the shooter milling around inside the building. A coordinated response was finally set up, 5 minutes after the shooter had left the building and entry was made by BSO and CRPD officers. This was in accordance with the barricaded suspect/hostage protocol. However, as the whereabouts of the shooter were not known, the building had to be swept by armed personnel. EMTs followed them inside and began treating casualties and uninjured people were moved out of the building. So, 10 minutes after the shooting began, 5 minutes after the shooting had stopped and about 9 minutes after the first deputy arrived on scene, entry had been made and the building was being secured and casualties treated. While not a fabulous response time, it was not significantly worse than other similar incidents.

Now, let me address two more things. The first is Peteron’s lack of response nd the criminal charges filed. Peterson was charged under three statutes. The first was for untruth in a sworn statement. The others were related to the deaths on the third floor and were for child neglect and culpable negligence. The child neglect charges will be summarily dismissed because the Florida courts had already ruled, at that time, that School Resource Officers, unlike school employees, were not acting in loco parentis, while on school grounds. This was a requirement for child neglect at that time. The statute has since been changed to state that a SRO is acting in loco parentis while on campus. The culpable negligence charges will also be dismissed, as there is no evidence hat if Peterson enter the building, immediately upon his arrival, that he would have intercepted the shooter before the shooter reached the third floor and had shot all of the casualties there. No, charges were lodged based upon the casualties on the first floor. The only charge that will stick is the false statement charge. Strangely, none of the school employees, who WERE actually acting in loco parentis, were not charged with any crimes.

Finally. people have to understand what happened here. The media, and certain parents, wanted someone in authority to be held responsible for this incident. They most logical entity for that would have been the Broward County School Board. They were directly responsible for the security at the campus and three of their employees had knowledge that the shooter was on campus and was not supposed to be there and failed to notify the office or anyone else of his presence. There was no effective entry control and the school boards “security” program failed to function. But, early on in this affair, these people zeroed in on the Sheriff and his deputies to take the heat. Were there problems with the BSO response? Yes. Were those actions, or inactions, responsible for any of the casualties, Not likely. The one thing that could have been almost guaranteed to have stopped thos from occurring was if entry was severely limited [1 or 2 POEs] with armed personnel stationed there to attempt to stop an armed invader. This, was not present however. Anther interesting fact is that after the MSDHS Commission and all the money spent to upgrade school security in Florida, the security requirements, statewide, are almost exactly the same as those at MSDHS on the day of the shooting. Nothing has changed.

Here is a pretty good timeline on the incident:

https://projects.sun-sentinel.com/2018/sfl-parkland-school-shooting-critical-moments/#nt=oft12aH-1la1

Antifundamentalist | May 15, 2020 at 11:23 pm

Travesty of justice aside, this piece of excrement needs to be careful. I just hope other cops hold him in as much contempt as Florida parents do.

    Actual, he will probably simply take retirement. Speaking of Florida parents, why haven’t they demanded that adequate security be put in place to stop an armed school invasion from happening again?

      Milwaukee in reply to Mac45. | May 16, 2020 at 2:36 pm

      “having adequate security in place….”
      That ship sailed before the shooter showed up at school that day. The shooter was known as dangerous and unhinged. He should have been banned from being with in a mile of that school or any school. School administrators and law enforcement failed to head the problem off in a timely way. Once he’s on campus with a loaded gun, before the first shot, they failed.

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