POMPANO BEACH (CBSMiami) – After three years on the job at BSO, Deputy Willard Miller ends up in front of a judge as a defendant.
He’s accused of child abuse, and the act was captured on surveillance video.
It was captured at Cross Creek Alternative School in Pompano Beach, where he worked there as a school resource deputy.“
The byproduct of his actions were deplorable,” Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony said. “They were uncalled for.”
Sheriff Tony released the video, which shows a 15-year-old girl initially tapping the deputy’s leg with her foot. Moments later, the child is grabbed by the neck and slammed to the ground.
“For whatever occurred, whatever type of verbal dialogue that was going on, it makes no sense and it wasn’t necessary,” Sheriff Tony said.
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As the video continues, the child flipped over, the deputy putting his knee in her back and cuffing her. Moments later, she’s picked up by her cuffed arms and shoved through a doorway, causing her to hit a wall.
“It’s embarrassing, OK,” said the sheriff. “When we have one individual act outside the confines of the oath that they take it goes on every news channel, it spreads across the country and it impacts not only the agency but everyone who carries a badge on their chest.”
Sheriff Tony said the incident was uncovered by chance. As the school district was conducting a completely different investigation, they stumbled upon it.
“Totally not looking for it,” Tony said. “Looking at some other school matter issues and it popped up on the screen and they said we need to get this over to BSO.”
Parents were surprised.
“Wow, yeah, that’s a little disturbing,” said Bianca Taft.
Miller is suspended without pay as he faces his charges. A BSO internal investigation is underway.
“I’m tired of it. There’s your line. I’m tired of it,” said Sheriff Tony. “I don’t want to spend time standing here about disciplinary action for a very small population of people who break out side of what they’re supposed to be doing.”
This latest arrest comes after a string of other videos showing deputies accused of using excessive force.
In one incident, a deputy, who has since been fired, is seen punching an inmate cuffed to a hospital bed.
And many remember the Delucca Rolle pepper spraying and rough take down in Tamarac. In that case, two deputies are still awaiting trial.
Sheriff Tony said he’s working on the culture at BSO to stop instances like this – and making sure deputies who tarnish the badge are dealt with.
“I’m going to fix it,” he said. “And I’m going to hold people accountable. If I have to do this 15 more times, we’re going to do it 15 more times until this small fraction of people out there, deputies, who don’t get it, are held accountable and we’re going to move them on.”