In response, King County Sheriff Mitzi Johanknecht suspended Miller for one day without pay, saying his words draw on “the racist history in America.”
Miller was also involved in the death of MiChance Dunlap-Gittens, a Black 17-year-old, who was shot and killed by King County deputies in 2017.
Gittens’ mother Alexis Francois and other members of the groups Not This Time, Next Steps Washington, and the local NAACP, gathered outside the King County Administrative Building Friday to denounce the sheriff’s handling of Miller’s case.
“I want her to resign. I want Todd Miller to be fired, not promoted,” Francois said. “He led the rogue investigation that caused Chance’s death — she promoted him. He makes a racist post on social media, he gets suspended for one day.”
In a letter explaining her decision to terminate Brown, Johanknecht also compared his case to Miller’s and others involving social media posts by officers. She said Miller’s discipline was lighter, in part because his actions had not elicited as much outrage or been as damaging to the Sheriff’s Office as Brown’s.
But the family members at Friday’s press conference said they had been unaware of Miller’s April 21, 2020 Facebook post or the misconduct investigation he faced until the outcome was reported recently in the press.
Not This Time’s acting director Devitta Briscoe said the revelation has damaged public trust in the Sheriff’s Office.
“The deep-seated racist beliefs are inherent in our law enforcement and it shows that these are the belief systems that cost MiChance his life,” she said.