A Broward County police deputy in Florida has been put on restricted duty after a video surfaced of two white police officers slamming a black teenager’s head into the ground and punching the back of his head numerous times.
15 yr old Black boy, Lucca picked up a cell phone that fell out of the pocket of a Black boy who was being arrested. In response @browardsheriff officers Christopher Krickovich & Greg LaCerra pepper sprayed, brutally beat, and arrested him.
— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) April 20, 2019
The incident happened at a McDonald’s near J.P. Taravella High School, about six miles from Parkland. The police were called as students gathered around the McDonald’s to watch a fight. Lucca, the teen who had his head slammed to the ground, went to reach for the cellphone of another student who was being arrested. That’s when all hell broke loose.
Christopher Krickovich, the officer in the video said that Lucca took an “aggressive stance” towards his police partner. In the official affidavit, he wrote:
“While I was dealing with the male on the ground, I observed his phone slide to the right of me and then behind me. I observed a teen wearing a red tank top reach down and attempt to grab the male student’s phone.
“Sgt. LaCerra ordered the student to stay back while I was on the ground with the other student, with my back turned. At this point, the male with the red tank top took an aggressive stance towards Sgt. LaCerra. The male with the red tank top bladed his body and began clenching his fists.”
I’ve watched the video, more times than I would have liked.
The video shows LaCerra shoving Lucca out of the way. And yes, he got defensive like any normal person would have reacted when getting shoved. But he was in no way being aggressive.
LaCerra pepper sprayed Lucca at close range, Lucca walked away, in the opposite direction of the altercation. LaCerra then grabbed Lucca and forced him to the ground.
In the affidavit, Krickovich mentions that he put his full body weight on Lucca and that it felt like Lucca was trying to push himself back up. Krickovich is a grown man and Lucca doesn’t look that big so he was probably getting up because he couldn’t breathe. He also stated why he punched Lucca in the back of the head:
“I struck the male in the right side of his head with a closed fist as a distractionary technique to free his right hand.”
I honestly can’t wrap my head around that. You needed to punch a kid who’s smaller than you to get his right hand from under him?
I noticed that Krickovich failed to mention why Lucca might’ve had his hand holding his face in the first place. The fact that he slammed his head into the pavement was clearly missing from the affidavit. But what baffles my mind is that this was the same police department that calmly apprehended the Parkland shooter. Someone who committed mass murder and had a weapon was not handled as violently as this innocent boy.
I will say this until I am blue in the face: police have a fear of black boys. Plain and simple. It’s like they forget that they need to deescalate the situation, not make it worse.
The video sparked outrage for millions of people as it made its way through social media, with many calling for the resignation of the two officers.
The only person who seems to be taking the side of the two officers is the International Union of Police Associations president Jeff Bell.
“We are 110% backing the two deputies and actions they took. What you see in the video may be upsetting to some people, but it’s exactly what we’ve been trained to do since Greg Tony took office”
If that’s how they were trained to deal with a situation, there’s a serious issue that needs to be reformed.
According to the South Florida newspaper The Sun Sentinel, a criminal investigation is being opened. I’m hoping that it’s not going to end like every other police brutality story. But, if I’m honest my hopes aren’t that high.
I do have to commend Sheriff Gregory Tony for acknowledging the issue at hand. Watch his statement below.
Sheriff Gregory Tony holds open discussions with Broward’s Black Elected Officials at a prescheduled meeting today and emphasizes his commitment to transparency and accountability. pic.twitter.com/r3Lz1QDd8C
— Broward Sheriff (@browardsheriff) April 20, 2019