$138K a Year to Cower While Kids Get Shot
Some apples in the barrel turn to rot even before they ripen
The Broward County Sheriff’s Office deputy who was fired for “neglect of duty” after he cowered outside of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School while a mass killer shot 34 people is back on the job.
Not only is Sgt. Brian Miller back on the job, he’s being paid back pay and is having his seniority restored. It’s reported that Miller was paid $138,410 in 2017. In February, 2018, he was the first law enforcement supervisor to the scene but not only remained outside behind his cruiser while the shots rang out, he didn’t even radio in for ten minutes.
$138K isn’t bad money, particularly when you’ve literally neglected your duty. Nice work if you can get it.
As tragic as the shooting that left 17 dead was, it is the aftermath that has been unbelievable. We know that bad people exist and that they sometimes manage to do bad things. What we have learned since that bad person did those bad things, however, is that some of the people we trust to protect us from the bad guys are NOT trustworthy and they will get away with NOT protecting us.
We already knew that murderers exist and that they are often highly motivated and capable. We expect the bad guys to be bad. What we didn’t know was that the good guys can be just as bad. Worse, even, when you consider that they are being paid—very well-paid, apparently—to hide outside when they’re needed the most.
I’m glad we aren’t paying firefighters over 100K to sit out in the driveway while buildings burn down. I’m glad we aren’t paying doctors over 100K to avoid patients who are ill. So why are we paying a sheriff’s deputy over 100K to sit outside while a gunman slaughters children?
Some are going to point to the BSO Deputies Association union and blame them for this. Unions, whatever you think of them, are supposed to stand up for their members and take on those who would shortchange them. I guess in this case it’s somewhat similar to an accused murderer getting his day in court for a fair trial with a competent defense attorney. We all want justice done, and doing justice requires that even the bad guys get their fair shake.
It remains to be seen how this will all play out. Sgt. Brian Miller wasn’t the only BSO officer fired over the incident, and even the big dog himself, Sheriff Scott Israel, lost his job over the way the department reacted to the situation and how they handled it afterwards. The BSO Deputies Association claims that “BSO violated Sgt. Brian Miller’s constitutional due process rights and improperly terminated him.”
The real issue here isn’t actually whether Sgt. Brian Miller should get his job back or how much he should get paid or if it’s really fair to call him and the others the “cowards of the county,” the issue is that we are seeing yet again why it’s so vital that people take their safety into their own hands and not count on the authorities.
At Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, children with a sheriff’s department School Resource Officer literally on site when the shooting started discovered that the well-paid authorities will not always protect them. Or even bother trying. After the bodies are cleared away, those same authorities will point their fingers at the governor and the NRA and every other gun-owning American rather than accept any blame. And when public outcry and political action—sadly after the fact—tries to get those bad apples out of the picture, they will be reinstated. With backpay.