Three Broward County sheriff's deputies were criminally charged Wednesday in connection to the brutal attack on a 15-year-old boy in April. The beating was recorded by another student who made it go viral.
As usual in these cases, the police report told one narrative while the video showed another.
But what is unusual is how these three deputies were charged with falsifying reports, claiming they had felt "threatened" by a group of teens who had gathered in a McDonald's parking lot to watch a fight.
The video shows the victim, DeLucca Rolle, was not doing anything to make the deputies fear for their lives (other than being black).
Instead, it shows Sergeant Gregory LaCerra shooting pepper spray into Rolle's face and throwing the teen to the ground.
Broward deputy Christopher Krickovich then pounced on the boy, grabbing him by the back of the head and slamming his face into the pavement and punching him in the head. A third deputy, Ralph Mackey, 49, then jumped in to help with the arrest but was not as aggressive.
Mackey, however, lied on his police report and was charged with falsifying records and conspiracy to falsify records, according to Local 10.
LaCerra, 51, was charged with two counts of battery, one count of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records. Krickovich, 29, was charged with two counts of battery, two counts of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records. All charges are misdemeanors.
The three deputies were suspended without pay.
Charges of obstruction against the teen were dismissed after a national outcry against the arrest from elected officials and celebrities like NBA star LeBron James.
Rolle's family hired attorney Benjamin Crump whose office released the following 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,” said Crump and attorney Sue-Ann Robinson, who are working together to represent Rolle. “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.”
However, Blue Privilege spared the cops of having to spend any time in jail. The three will receive summons instead where they will be scheduled to attend a court hearing rather than having to be booked into jail and have their mugshots taken.
The police union accused the Broward State Attorney's Office of playing politics by not allowing the deputies to get away with their usual thuggish behavior.
"The state attorney's office folded to pressure from the NAACP in making these arrests," Jeff Bell of the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association said
Bell also complained that the deputies were placed on unpaid suspension.
"We do not agree with those charges being levied against the deputies, but what concerns us even more is that the sheriff’s office has put the three deputies on a non-paid status," he said.
"Don’t financially put a hardship on their family as your trying to put criminal charges on them as well for doing their job.”
The irony, of course, is how cops place financial hardships on families on a daily basis by unlawful and unconstitutional arrests.