Temecula teacher fired, husband placed on leave from City job, after video of racist rant goes viral
A southern California couple has come under fire after allegations of COVID-19 based racism toward Asian Americans recently surfaced following a verbal altercation that occurred near Fashion Island in Newport Beach over the weekend. Cell phone video of the incident, which was first shared to TikTok but has since been widely circulated on Twitter, Instagram, and other forms of social media, has led to growing calls for action against the pair.
The now-viral video, (which can be viewed below), appeared to show 55-year-old Roger Miller, City of Coronado’s Director of Recreation and Golf Services, and 56-year-old Sandra Miller, a teacher at a private school in Temecula, making racist comments toward another couple, while walking to their car in one of the mall’s parking garages.
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Bowing to growing pressure to hold the Temecula pair accountable for their alleged tirade, Roger – who along with Sandra was seen making obscene gestures toward the couple filming him as he and his wife left the parking garage – was placed on administrative leave from his City of Coronado position on Monday.
Meanwhile, Sandra – who was heard yelling “Go back to China!” in the video – was swiftly terminated from her job as a teacher at Temecula’s private Linfield Christian School earlier this week.
Although the video’s poster said the Millers made multiple racist comments, including statements about Chinese people being the cause of and spreading COVID-19, the video picked up after the verbal altercation had already begun, and did not include footage of what may have led to the ugly confrontation.
In the video, the Millers are seen in a parking structure walking away from the other couple filming the incident, who thus far have managed to remain anonymous.
As the video continues, Sandra can be clearly heard saying, “I love that we are not in their country, right? I love that we are not communism. I love that very much.”
When the couple filming asks, “Are you saying those words to us?”, Roger is seen turning directly toward them and saying, “Yeah maybe, could be”, to which the filmer replies, “Yeah, we’re not even Chinese by the way.”
Moments later, as Sandra is seen getting into her car, she is heard saying, “America is a free country. Go back to China!”
Temecula residents Roger and Sandra Miller have come under fire after now-viral video surfaced that appeared to show the couple making obscene gestures toward another couple while going on what some have called a “racial tirade” against Asian Americans. TikTok images
In a subsequent interview with SanDiegoVille, the person who recorded the video explained, “My girlfriend and I were just shopping around Fashion Island in Newport when a couple walks by us, makes eye contact with looks us, and say ‘Oooh COVID is gonna get you … those Chinese spreading COVID’.”
Although the video appeared to show the Millers continuing to discuss the matter amongst themselves while walking away from the couple filming the video, the man behind the camera said the couple was “purposely loud enough for us to hear the racial slurs and comments.”
“Then they loudly blurt out racial commentaries as about another Asian couple and baby walk by,” he continued; adding, “When we confronted them, they saw no fault in their actions and instead proudly and continuously blurt out racial commentaries attacking us.”
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Responding to growing pressure over what can be heard in the video, Coronado City Manager Tina Friend on Sunday said the city “took immediate action” once it became aware of the video, and on Monday followed up with a statement indicating that “the person involved has been placed on administrative leave pending an independent, full and fair investigation.”
“Our city’s culture and values are core to who we are, and that culture is based on professionalism, service and respect,” Friend’s statement went on to read. “We take matters such as this extremely seriously and the City has zero tolerance for all forms of discrimination.”
Roger previously made headlines in 2018, after the San Diego Reader published an article accusing him of improprieties in his position overseeing the Coronado Municipal Golf Course.
In that article, Mike Horvath, a 25-year employee at the golf course said, “Miller has done pretty much what he pleases, City of Coronado bylaws be damned,” adding that he engaged “in a campaign of retaliation against anyone who dared question the operation of his 18-hole fiefdom.”
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Trevor Montgomery, 50, moved in 2017 to the Intermountain area of Shasta County from Riverside County and runs Riverside County News Source (RCNS) and Shasta County News Source (SCNS).
Additionally, he writes or has written for several other news organizations; including Riverside County based newspapers Valley News, Valley Chronicle, Anza Valley Outlook, and Hemet & San Jacinto Chronicle; the Bonsall/Fallbrook Village News in San Diego County; and Mountain Echo in Shasta County. He is also a regular contributor to Thin Blue Line TV and Law Enforcement News Network and has had his stories featured on news stations throughout the Southern California and North State regions.
Trevor spent 10 years in the U.S. Army as an Orthopedic Specialist before joining the Riverside County Sheriff’s Department in 1998. He was medically retired after losing his leg, breaking his back, and suffering both spinal cord and brain injuries in an off-duty accident. (Click here to see segment of Discovery Channel documentary of Trevor’s accident.)
During his time with the sheriff’s department, Trevor worked at several different stations; including Robert Presley Detention Center, Southwest Station in Temecula, Hemet/Valle Vista Station, Ben Clark Public Safety Training Center, and Lake Elsinore Station; along with other locations.
Trevor’s assignments included Corrections, Patrol, DUI Enforcement, Boat and Personal Water-Craft based Lake Patrol, Off-Road Vehicle Enforcement, Problem Oriented Policing Team, and Personnel/Background Investigations. He finished his career while working as a Sex Crimes and Child Abuse Investigator and was a court-designated expert in child abuse and child sex-related crimes.
Trevor has been married for more than 30 years and was a foster parent to more than 60 children over 13 years. He is now an adoptive parent and his “fluid family” includes 13 children and 18 grandchildren.