In a stunning and disturbing appearance at the Tamarac City Commission today, Broward Sheriff Greg Tony blew up at the elected officials on the dais — rejecting their call to remove from duty an officer who was involved in the brutal beating of a teenager.
“I will not stand here and be lectured to about the laws of investigative practices, because no one up here has the experience that I have or my staff," Tony, who was appointed to the job in January, told Commissioner Marlon Bolton in a combative tone. "So, sir, you are out of line with the context of what you are demanding from me, and I won’t accept it."
Bolton immediately responded. "That is the same aggression your officers used," said the Tamarac commissioner, whose city contracts with BSO for law enforcement services.
Tony's blowup came after two BSO officers — Dep. Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Greg LaCerra — were suspended without pay for their roles in the brutal arrest of 15-year-old Delucca "Lucca" Rolle, who was pepper-sprayed and thrown to the ground before officers repeatedly smashed his face into the pavement and punched him. Video of the after-school incident in that city's Town Square Plaza went viral and raised the ire of the community and celebrities such as LeBron James and Gabrielle Union. Tamarac commissioners were requesting that a third, still-unnamed officer also be removed.
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Broward State Attorney Michael Satz on Tuesday declined to press charges against Rolle.
Tony decried Satz's decision and, in what might be the most bizarre moment of Wednesday's meeting, complained that criticism of his deputies might lead "kids" to riot. “I also have the responsibility to make sure that we don’t get 50 more kids out in the community picketing and rioting and feeling as though their chief law enforcement officer is not sympathetic to their needs," Tony said, as first reported by CBS Miami.
In a Facebook post this afternoon, Bolton slammed the sheriff as a bully whose anger might be rubbing off on his deputies. "Broward County’s aggressive Sheriff Tony thought he could bully me and my colleagues? Sadly mistaken!" Bolton wrote. "Tony today, in the most aggressive way, thought he could bully his way through our questions. Well, now we know why his deputies are so angry — it flows from the head!"
In what can be seen only as a stern rebuke of the sheriff, the commission voted 4-1 in favor of directing BSO to remove a third deputy involved in Rolle's arrest until the investigation is complete.