A high-profile incident unfolded in Rhode Island after State Senator Joshua Miller, a Democrat, was arrested on Thursday for allegedly keying a vehicle adorned with an anti-Biden bumper sticker at Garden City Center. This incident is now the focal point of a new controversy, stirring up discussions on the boundaries of political disagreement and individual conduct.
Around 3:30 p.m., the owners of the SUV, which was keyed, were returning to their vehicle when they heard a scratching noise and spotted a man with keys in his hand. After discovering a lengthy scratch on their vehicle’s door, they asked the man, later identified as Senator Miller, if he was responsible for the damage. Miller denied the allegation and quickly left the scene.
Interestingly, the victims identified Miller as the perpetrator after recognizing a “Re-Elect Josh Miller” sticker on a truck parked adjacent to their SUV. With this information, they searched for him online and reported the incident to Cranston police.
Approximately two hours after the event, police tracked down Senator Miller, who once again denied any involvement in the alleged vandalism. Miller further claimed that the victim had threatened him, and he speculated that the man was part of a group that had been stalking him at the State House due to his work on “gun safety” legislation.
In the course of their investigation, police were able to obtain surveillance footage consistent with the victims’ accounts. Armed with this evidence, they confronted Miller at his home, whereupon he confessed to the act of vandalism. However, Miller added a twist to the narrative by claiming that the vehicle’s owner had been yelling at him and “dared” him to do it.
Following his confession, Miller was arrested on a misdemeanor vandalism charge and taken into custody. Miller’s attorney, John MacDonald, has stated that his client will not comment on the case until all legal proceedings have concluded.
In the aftermath of Miller’s arrest, Cranston Police Chief Michael Winquist issued a statement emphasizing that no individual is above the law. “The officers who handled this investigation did so with fairness, integrity, and without preferential treatment,” he said according to WPRI. Senator Miller was later released on $1,000 personal recognizance and is due back in court on July 18.
Joe Powers, Chairman of the Rhode Island GOP, tweeted, “This behavior is unbecoming of anyone holding a leadership position. State Senator Joshua Miller has proven once again that he does not have the composure required to represent every constituent in his district and must resign immediately.”
This is not the first time Senator Miller has been embroiled in controversy. In 2014, he made headlines for cursing at a gun rights advocate during a State House rally, an incident that was captured on video and circulated online. He later issued an apology for his outburst.