Deputy accused of child abuse fired from Broward Sheriff’s Office

A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who had been arrested for child abuse in 2019 has officially been fired from his position.

BROWARD COUNTY, Fla. – A Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy who had been arrested for child abuse in 2019 has officially been fired from his position.

According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office (BSO), former BSO Deputy Willard Miller has been terminated from the BSO after their Internal Affairs investigators investigated an incident that occurred two years ago involving a minor.

According to police, Miller is accused of slamming a 15-year-old female student to the floor at Cross Creek School in Pompano Beach on Sept. 25, 2019.

The incident was captured on school surveillance video.

In the video, the student is seen taping Miller on his leg as he was texting on his cell phone. Words were exchanged between the two and the student walks to the other side of the room.

Shortly after, Miller then rushes across the room, grabs the girl and slams her to the ground.

Miller turned himself in on one third-degree felony count of child abuse without great bodily harm. He was also suspended without pay by BSO, but Wednesday his firing was officially announced.

“He was terminated, effective immediately,” said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.

Mugshot for former BSO Deputy Willard Miller. (Broward Sheriff's Office)

Speaking Wednesday from BSO headquarters, Sheriff Tony described the actions of Miller as egregious, especially because he was working in a school that cares for students with emotional and behavioral issues.

Tony said the actions of this former deputy were not a reflection of what the sheriff’s office stands for.

“There was no justifiable cause to respond in that matter as a professional law enforcement officer with years of experience, with a multitude of training and defensive tactics, and the ability to use a lesser level of any type of force or even communication that could’ve deescalated the situation from happening,” Tony said.

According to Tony, there will be a “zero-tolerance policy against such abuse of powers” and his commitment is “unwavering.”

Local 10 News obtained BSO’s internal affairs report on Miller, who it stated had just gone through use of force training four months prior to the incident, and had taken a week-long course for school resource officers.

The report also found that Miller turned off his body worn camera prior to throwing the student to the ground, and never issued a written report for why he felt this use of force was needed.

“To lose all discipline and temperament, where you could’ve possibly killed a child, is unacceptable,” Tony said.

About the Authors:

Roy Ramos joined the Local 10 News team in 2018. Roy is a South Florida native who grew up in Florida City. He attended Christopher Columbus High School, Homestead Senior High School and graduated from St. Thomas University.