Fort Lauderdale, FL – A school resource officer in Broward County was charged with felony child abuse on Tuesday after a video showed him throwing a student to the ground (video below).
The incident occurred on Sept. 25 inside an office at Cross Creek School, a school for children with behavioral and emotional problems, the Associated Press reported.
Surveillance video from the school office showed Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Willard Miller standing and texting on his phone with his back to a female student.
There were two other people seated nearby.
The female student approached Deputy Miller from behind and kicked him in the back of knee, causing his leg to buckle slightly, the video showed.
The video showed that the deputy did not initially react to the girl in an aggressive manner.
Instead, he stayed where he was as the student proceeded to pace back and forth on the other side of the room.
There is no audio, but in the video, it appeared Deputy Miller was talking to the girl
All of a sudden, the deputy lunged across the room and grabbed the girl, who had both hands in her pockets, and threw her to the ground, the video showed.
The student’s head appeared to slam on the hard floor as she hit the ground.
Then the video showed Deputy Miller jumped on top of her and began struggling for control of her hands.
Once the deputy had both hands in his control, he flipped her over onto her stomach, put a knee in her back, and pulled her arms behind her, the video showed.
Then he pulled her up off the ground by her arms, and tossed her through the threshold of another room before the video ended.
Deputy Miller was charged on Nov. 5 with felony child abuse without great bodily harm in connection with the incident, the Associated Press reported.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony suspended Deputy Miller without pay pending completion of the internal investigative and disciplinary process.
“I would hope that every cop in America would disagree with that type of response,” Sheriff Tony said.
The incident was at least the fifth time this year that a Broward sheriff’s deputy has been accused of excessive force, the Associated Press reported.
Two deputies are awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges in connection with an incident with a teen at a McDonald’s restaurant.
The deputies are accused of pepper-spraying and beating the teenager, the Associated Press reported.
A deputy at the Broward detention facility was terminated after he slugged a handcuffed inmate earlier this year.
In October, Sheriff Tony fired a deputy who was charged with punching a prisoner who was handcuffed to a hospital bed, the Associated Press reported.
The sheriff has said the problems in the Broward Sheriff’s Office stem from the prior administration’s “culture where disciplinary actions weren’t taken” when deputies violated department standards.
“I am tired of it,” Sheriff Tony said, and complained that Deputy Miller’s action reflected poorly on all of law enforcement.
“I’m going to fix it,” he promised. “I am going to hold people accountable. If I have to do this 15 more times, I am going to do it 15 more times.”
The sheriff said that Deputy Miller, a three-year veteran of the sheriff’s department, has no previous disciplinary record, the Associate Press reported.
Watch the incident unfold in the video here below: