SRO Arrested for Child Abuse After Slamming Student to the Ground

The alleged incident involving an SRO and teen was caught on the school’s video surveillance system.

A security camera at Cross Creek School in Pompano Beach, Fla., allegedly caught a Broward Sheriff’s Office school resource officer (SRO) slamming a 15-year-old female student to the ground. The SRO, Deputy Willard Miller, 38, was charged on Tuesday with child abuse after the video surveillance footage was released by Sheriff Gregory Tony.

The video, which did not record any audio, shows the girl walking around the room with her hands in her pockets for a few minutes while the SRO was on his phone. The girl then taps Miller’s leg with her foot, before walking away. The tap appears to cause Miller’s knees to buckle. About a minute later while the girl’s hands are still in her pockets, Miller grabs the student by the neck and throws her to the ground, reports CBS News and NBC Miami. He then flips the girl onto her stomach, lifts her up and throws her out of the room.

It’s unclear what led to the Sept. 25 incident or why the SRO and the teen were in the room where the incident occurred. Tony wouldn’t say what was said between the SRO and the teen after the knee tap but said the girl’s actions did not justify Miller’s behavior.

“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,” Tony said, reports NBC News.

Cross Creek School specializes in children with emotional needs. However, Tony didn’t indicate if the student had any special needs or disabilities.

Miller has been with the Broward Sheriff’s Office since August 2016 and was assigned to Cross Creek in February 2018.

He’s been suspended without pay since Oct. 28 and has been released on $5,000 bond.

About the Author

Robin Hattersley Gray
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Robin has been covering the security and campus law enforcement industries since 1998 and is a specialist in school, university and hospital security, public safety and emergency management, as well as emerging technologies and systems integration. She joined CS in 2005 and has authored award-winning editorial on campus law enforcement and security funding, officer recruitment and retention, access control, IP video, network integration, event management, crime trends, the Clery Act, Title IX compliance, sexual assault, dating abuse, emergency communications, incident management software and more. Robin has been featured on national and local media outlets and was formerly associate editor for the trade publication Security Sales & Integration. She obtained her undergraduate degree in history from California State University, Long Beach.

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One response to “SRO Arrested for Child Abuse After Slamming Student to the Ground”

  1. James Goldring says:

    If this officer was not training to deal with behavior adolescent or had any type of CPI training, then he should not have been place in that setting for failure to deal with that type of physical and mental treatment coming from those types of students. If he has had the training, it don’t call for him being arrested. The student behavior needs to be dealt with above all. She became physical towards the officer. Unfair to treat the officer in this manner.

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