Broward Sheriff: Deputy arrested after slamming teen on ground

FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy arrested on a child abuse charge has bonded out of jail.

Thirty-eight-year-old Willard Miller bonded out Tuesday evening after being held on $5,000 bond.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony announced the deputy’s arrest early Tuesday morning during a conference at 11 a.m. Tuesday in Fort Lauderdale.

Tony said the Cross Creek School resource deputy used an “unnecessary level of force” with a minor.

The incident took place at the school, located along Northwest 27th Avenue and 13th Street on Sept. 25, according to Tony.

Cameras at the school shows the 15-year-old student walking up behind Miller and tapping the back of his knees with her foot, causing his knees to slightly buckle.

About a minute later, the deputy could be seen grabbing the 15-year-old student by the neck and throwing her to the ground.

Parents explained how they felt after seeing the video.

“Wow. Yeah, that’s a little disturbing,” said one parent.

“It’s not right. They have to know how to control themselves,” said one parent.

After receiving surveillance video of the incident, an internal affairs investigation was opened, and the State Attorney’s Office was also made aware of Miller’s actions on camera.

“The by-product of his actions were deplorable,” said Tony. “I think right now, it speaks for itself. I could care less why she was in the room. That’s not a matter of disciplinary issue that the agency would have to be responsible for, but the way the deputy responds for whatever occurred, whatever type of verbal dialogue was going on, it makes no sense, and it wasn’t necessary. I would hope that every cop in America would disagree with that type of response.”

Miller was a deputy with the Broward Sheriff’s Department for approximately three years and assigned to the Pompano Beach district.

He has since been charged with one third-degree felony count of child abuse without great bodily harm.

Miller’s family appeared in court to hear the charges but didn’t comment on Miller’s case.

Broward County Public Schools released a statement about the incident, saying in part, “Upon becoming aware of the incident involving the Broward Sheriff’s Office school resource officer at Cross Creek School, the district’s special investigative unit immediately contacted the Broward Sheriff’s Office. We appreciate the quick actions of the Sheriff’s Office regarding this matter.”

Tony said that the kick and whatever was said shouldn’t have led to this.

“Does it matter? Does it matter? Do you think that was appropriate for us to respond as law enforcement professionals?” asked Tony.

Miller has been suspended without pay until the internal affairs investigation is complete.

The latest arrest within the department comes almost a week after Tony fired BSO deputy Jorge Sobrino.

Sobrino was caught on camera punching a handcuffed inmate and faces a misdemeanor battery charge.

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