Broward News

Parkland Survivors Criticize Broward Police and Tweet #JusticeForLucca After Video of Taravella Teen Goes Viral

The March for Our Lives in Parkland on March, 24, 2018.
The March for Our Lives in Parkland on March, 24, 2018. Photo by Ian Witlen /
Survivors of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School took to Twitter this week to condemn police brutality after a recent video of a Broward Sheriff's deputy slamming a teenager's face to the ground went viral.

The video shows Delucca Rolle, a Tamarac teen, being pepper-sprayed, slammed to the ground, and punched in the head by Broward Dep. Christopher Krickovich before getting arrested outside a McDonald's last Thursday. Rolle and another teen, who is seen already handcuffed in the video, were taken into custody and faced criminal charges including assault of a police officer, resisting arrest, and trespassing. This past Tuesday, the Broward State Attorney's Office announced in a statement it will not file any charges against Rolle.

The incident garnered national attention over the weekend. Celebrities such as former Miami Heat player LeBron James and Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills have called for the deputies to be fired and shared the video with the hashtag #JusticeForLucca on Twitter. Civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump has taken on the J.P. Taravella student’s case. Crump previously represented the families of slain teens Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown.

The video has rehashed conversations about the unfair treatment and lack of support minorities receive compared to their white counterparts. Survivors of the Parkland shooting, including student activists Mei-Ling Ho-Shing and David Hogg, have been vocal about this difference and the overpolicing of black youth in their community.

"Right after the shooting, all anyone would talk about is how corrupt Sheriff Israel is," Hogg tweeted three days ago. "Now that police officers are back to beating young men and women [of] color, all those same people are saying how much they support the police. This is just blatant racism and white supremacy."

Advocating for Rolle, Ho-Shing used the hashtag #NeverAgain, which was created by Stoneman Douglas survivors and activists as part of their national movement to advocate for gun control. But this time, she used it to call for an end to police harassment of minorities. "How about this," Ho-Shing wrote, "#NeverAgain do black students fear for their life by those who are supposed to be protecting us."

Hogg also criticized the starkly different reaction from Broward citizens in the aftermath of BSO's interaction with Rolle. "Everyone in Parkland and Broward was calling out local law enforcement a couple of months ago," he tweeted. "But now the black and brown youth are being brutally assaulted in school by the same police 15 [minutes] away... Complete silence."

Last year, Ho-Shing, Hogg, and fellow MSD activist Jaclyn Corin criticized the disproportionate support they received for their efforts compared with student activists in minority communities, Black Lives Matter proponents, and the Dream Defenders.

"We recognize that Parkland received more attention because of its affluence," Corin said during her speech at the March for Our Lives in March 2018. "But we share this stage today and forever with those communities who have always stared down the barrel of a gun."

In a clip from a Saturday meeting with the group Broward Black Elected Officials, recently appointed BSO Sheriff Gregory Tony acknowledged public pressure for the deputy to be fired, but he stated an investigation is needed first.

"That is the most electrifying and dangerous situation for any law enforcement administrator to handle," Tony said. "Anytime a white deputy is involved in contact with using force with a black youth, this thing blows up."
KEEP NEW TIMES BROWARD-PALM BEACH FREE... Since we started New Times Broward-Palm Beach, it has been defined as the free, independent voice of South Florida, and we'd like to keep it that way. With local media under siege, it's more important than ever for us to rally support behind funding our local journalism. You can help by participating in our "I Support" program, allowing us to keep offering readers access to our incisive coverage of local news, food and culture with no paywalls.
Dominique Stewart is a freelance writer in South Florida covering culture and community in South Florida. She has worked as a staff writer at Brooklyn Magazine and assistant editor at the Tempest.