TAMARAC, Fla. – There are renewed calls for justice in the case of a South Florida teenager whose face was slammed into the pavement in Tamarac by a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy.
Supporters of the teen, Delucca Rolle, 15, claim BSO is not holding the deputy involved accountable, but Sheriff Gregory Tony is sternly disputing that claim.
Rolle’s attorney, Benjamin Crump, said there is no accountability with BSO and with the Broward County State Attorney’s Office.
He said it’s been two months since the incident and charges should have already been pressed against the two deputies involved in the teen’s rough arrest that was captured on cellphone cameras.
“These police officers violated the constitutional right of this child,” Crump said.
In a press conference Wednesday, the prominent civil rights attorney said justice for Rolle has been delayed.
“Over two months now, with a video, and the state attorney still says they don’t have the evidence to charge the police officer for this crime against this child,” Crump said.
The video he is referring to has gained national headlines. It shows Rolle getting pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground and punched by deputies in April outside a McDonald’s in Tamarac.
Deputy Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Gregory Lacerra have been suspended with pay pending an investigation, but Rolle’s family wants them charged.
“I want to tell the state attorney to make the right decision. You are telling me that if you don’t charge these officers that my son’s life doesn’t matter,” Clintina Rolle said.
Crump was surrounded by members of the NAACP and state representatives during the news conference and said the video is evidence enough and the state attorney’s office needs to be held accountable, as does the Broward Sheriff’s Office.
“I continue to reach out to different community leaders here and they are unaware of the process and their speculation that BSO is not doing anything related to this case, and that is so far from the truth,” Tony said. “The truth is, we can’t move forward until we actually hear back from the state attorney. That is no different from any other IA investigation that takes place, especially those that may have an implication of criminal charges toward a deputy.”
Officials from the Broward County State Attorney’s Office said they need more evidence, although they have interviewed Rolle along with 15 witnesses. They are also reviewing body camera video and have been in constant contact with Crump.
“Prosecutors have a legal duty to investigate cases fully before we file criminal charges and our office is complying with that duty,” the Broward County State Attorney’s Office said in a statement. “It is important that these types of investigations are done properly. It is important to get it right. Rushing to file criminal charges without conducting a proper investigation would be counterproductive.”
Officials from the state attorney’s office said they anticipate prosecutors to make a decision very soon in regard to the case.
Crump said if charges aren’t filed by July 4, he will be back with the Rolle family demanding that action be taken.