Deputies who slammed Black teen’s head into ground have been charged
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 8/9/2019, 10:15 a.m.
Three Broward Sheriff's Office deputies have been charged in connection with the rough arrest of Delucca Rolle, 15, in April, Broward County State Attorney Michael J. Satz announced Wednesday reports ABC affiliate WPLG. Sgt. Gregory LaCerra, 51, is charged with two counts of battery on suspicion of spraying Rolle in the face with pepper spray April 18 and throwing him to the pavement outside a McDonald’s. He was also charged with one count of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records, prosecutors said. Deputy Christopher Krickovich, 29, is charged with two counts of battery.
Prosecutors said he is the deputy who was captured on cellphone video slamming the teen’s head to the pavement and punching him in the head. Krickovich is also charged with two counts of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records. Deputy Ralph Mackey, 49, is charged with one count of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records. Prosecutors said the battery and falsifying records charges are first-degree misdemeanors, which carry maximum punishments of up to a year in jail.
The conspiracy charges are second-degree misdemeanors, which carry punishments of up to 60 days in jail. According to authorities, Rolle had been at the McDonald’s parking lot to watch a fight occur after school. Rolle's mother hired civil rights attorneys Benjamin Crump and Sue-Ann Robinson after the incident.
“It is about time the three officers face the consequences of their actions against 15-year-old Delucca Rolle back in April,” the attorneys said in a statement. “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. 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.”
The attorneys and members of the NAACP have been calling for the deputies’ arrests since the incident occurred. Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony, meanwhile, called for due process for the deputies.
“I owe it to the deputies, whether they are wrong or not, that they get their due process,” Tony said in April. Clintina Rolle, mother of Delucca Rolle, thanked the state attorney for what she feels is the right decision. “God sat high and he looked close and he sees everything,” Clintina Rolle said.
BSO spokeswoman Keyla Concepcion confirmed in a news release Wednesday that the sheriff has suspended the deputies without pay. Concepcion said BSO's internal affairs investigation into the incident remains open but has been deferred until the criminal proceedings are resolved. Jeff Bell, president of the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association, disagreed with the decision to suspend the deputies without pay. “Don't financially put a hardship on their family as you’re trying to put criminal charges on them as well for doing their job,” he said.