“You’re gonna get shot.” These were the words caught on video when uttered by a Florida School Resource Officer (SRO) to a 17-year-old student the SRO was accusing of truancy. Video of the December 17 incident has just emerged. In it, William Miller, a student at River Ridge High School in New Port Richey, Florida, was dropping his friend off at school when he was confronted by the SRO, as well as a school discipline assistant.
Miller was told if he left the campus he’d be classified as truant and suspended. The incident escalated after the teen tried to explain he had an excused absence. The video starts in the middle of the interaction. Just 16 seconds in, William tries to drive away and around the golf cart, the officer states, “You’re gonna get shot, you come another f—— foot closer to me. You run into me, you’ll get f—— shot.”
Nedra Miller, William’s mother, posted the officer’s body-camera video on Facebook last month. She obtained the video from the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office, who employs the officer. The officer has not been named due to a law that prohibits the identities of deputies in internal investigations.
The school discipline assistant, identified as Cindy Bond, can be heard explaining William’s suspension, claiming the student called her the n-word. The video doesn’t show William saying any slurs or explicit language, but does show the officer doing so.
“All three were acting like children and all three are wrong,” Nedra Miller told Tampa Bay Times. “But the cop more so. He’s just flat out not okay to be around children. I was shocked that an officer of the law working with children would speak to my son that way.”
Nedra Miller claims she’d excused her son’s absence for an orthodontist appointment weeks in advance. William eventually parked his car and went inside the school, but still got a suspension from December 17 to January 9. Later, he was expelled and sent to the Harry Schwettman Education Center. The center is a “voluntary educational program the district provides for students who have violated School Board policy, been recommended for expulsion or have a behavior pattern which has not been improved by a continuum of positive behavior and academic intervention strategies.”
Despite William receiving expulsion, the officer remains actively employed at the school.
“I just feel like if they were all acting like children and my son received that level of discipline, they should, too,” Nedra Miller said. “They should both be removed from their jobs.”
This incident brings attention to the recently passed Guardian Act in Floria, which allows school districts to decide if they’d like to arm additional staff, including teachers and support personnel. It also brings to mind a recent incident in Vance County, North Carolina in which an SRO violently attacked an 11-year-old in a school hallway.
Watch the video of the school resource officer confronting the student down below (*Warning: Explicit language):