Two Broward deputies have been criminally charged after they were caught on video slamming a high school student to the ground outside Tamarac on April 18, the Broward County State Attorney's Office announced today.
Cell-phone video of the incident captured Deputy Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Greg Lacerra pepper-spraying and punching 15-year-old Delucca Rolle during a rough arrest in a McDonald's parking lot. It all began when the police were arresting another kid for fighting and Rolle tried to pick up his cell phone for him.
Rolle, whose nose was broken during the altercation, was charged with trespassing, resisting arrest, and assault of a police officer. After the video went viral on Twitter, the Broward State Attorney's Office later dropped the charges against the teen.
Krickovich now faces two counts of battery for pepper-spraying Rolle and slamming him to the pavement. Lacerra was charged with one count of battery for punching Rolle repeatedly in the head as he lay on the ground.
Additionally, Krickovich, Lacerra, and a third officer, Deputy Ralph Mackey, were also charged with falsifying records and conspiracy to falsify records after allegedly fabricating details in the police report about what happened during the arrest.
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The charges for battery and falsifying records each carries a maximum punishment of up to a year in jail, while the conspiracy charges carry up to 60 days in jail.
The announcement from the State Attorney's Office comes after the NAACP of Fort Lauderdale, a number of Florida elected officials, and Rolle's attorney, Benjamin Crump, a prominent civil rights attorney, held a press conference at the Broward Public Defender's Office demanding the prosecution of the officers by July 4. Today, Crump released a statement praising the decision.
"It is about time the three officers face the consequences of their actions against 15-year-old Delucca Rolle back in April. Wearing a badge is not a license to hurt children and then lie about it — with these charges, the world can now see clearly that is what happened," he said. "The fact that the officers were charged with falsifying records and conspiracy to falsify records is rare, and it may represent a new trend in accountability for law enforcement officials. While the path to justice for Delucca is a long road, we are glad to see the system take a positive step forward today by charging the officers responsible."
Now that the deputies have been charged, the Broward Sheriff's Office says all three officers will be suspended without pay.