A Florida sheriff's deputy is facing a felony charge after he was caught on camera violently slamming a 15-year-old female student to the ground. The deputy worked at a school for children with emotional and behavioral problems.
The silent two-and-a-half-minute video shows Willard Miller talking to the girl before suddenly rushing her. He's then seen grabbing her by the throat and slamming her onto the ground. Miller then flips the teen onto her stomach, before forcibly lifting her up and throwing her out of the room.
"His actions were deplorable. They were uncalled for and they violated multiple policies just on the optics," said Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony.
It's unclear what prompted the response at Cross Creek School in Pompano Beach. School security cameras show the girl walking up behind Miller and tapping the back of his knees with her foot, causing his legs to buckle, before walking away. The sheriff would not say what Miller and the girl said to each other after the knee tap, but he said nothing the girl said or did justifies the 38-year-old deputy's actions.
Miller, who faces one count of child abuse, has been released on $5,000 bond.
Two deputies are awaiting trial on misdemeanor charges after a teen was beaten and pepper-sprayed outside a McDonald's last spring. Last week, another deputy was fired after slugging a suspect who was handcuffed to a hospital bed.
The sheriff vowed Tuesday to continue to crack down on deputies who violate department standards. Miller could face up to five years in prison.