Jury selection began Monday in the trial of a Broward Sheriff's Office deputy who was fired after he was caught on camera assaulting a student.
The incident happened in 2019, when Deputy Willard Miller was seen on surveillance video slamming a 15-year-old female student to the ground at Cross Creek School, a Pompano Beach school for emotionally and behaviorally disabled kids.
Video showed the student kicked Miller in the back of the leg after she was caught with a vape pen. An internal affairs investigation showed Miller violated several BSO policies.
“It doesn’t matter what was said on her side or his side,” BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony said. "To respond physically to someone who we know suffers from some form of mental illness. You're a law enforcement officer responsible for safeguarding that individual and to lose all discipline and temperament where you could have possibly killed a child is unacceptable."
The report said Miller had handcuffed the student and placed her in his patrol car previously to question about the pen.
Miller was fired in August 2021. His attorneys told the court Monday that Miller was a mentor to students at the school.
Attorneys for both the state and Miller reached an agreement with the judge that the trial should wrap up by Tuesday.
Sign up for our Breaking newsletter to get the most urgent news stories in your inbox.