Florida prosecutors won't charge black teen who was punched, pepper-sprayed in arrest

Delucca Rolle was pepper-sprayed, slammed to the concrete and punched in the head by Broward County Sheriff deputies last week.

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By Doha Madani

A Florida 15-year-old who was arrested after being pepper-sprayed, slammed to the concrete and punched in the head by deputies last week will not be charged, prosecutors said.

Video footage of Delucca Rolle's arrest drew outrage and accusations of police brutality after Thursday's incident in which Broward County law enforcement responded to a possible fight after school at a Tamarac shopping plaza.

One male student was caught trespassing and arrested after deputies asked a large group of students to leave the area, according to the arrest report.

Cellphone video shows Delucca, also known as Lucca, get up from the ground near the arrested boy and stand in front of one of the deputies.

Lucca is then pepper-sprayed before being pushed to the ground and punched in the head, according to both the footage and the arrest report.

The teen was arrested and accused of assaulting an officer, resisting arrest and trespassing, but the state attorney for Broward County said Tuesday that Lucca will not be charged and that an investigation into the deputies will continue.

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Civil rights attorney Ben Crump, one of the attorneys representing Lucca's family, said in a statement Tuesday that what happened to the boy was "unconscionable."

"Once again, we see that this promise does not extend to people of color — one would hope that an unarmed 15-year-old child would not be treated in this brutal manner, no matter the circumstances," Crump said.

Two men in the footage and in the arrest report, Deputy Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Gregory Lacerra, were reassigned after video drew criticism from the community.

Krickovich said in his arrest report that he saw Lucca reach for a cellphone near the student who was arrested and then take an "aggressive stance" toward Lacerra.

Krickovich said he was surrounded by students and feared someone might grab one of the weapons off his belt or vest after deputies pushed the boy in the tank top to the ground.

“At this point, his left arm was free and next to him, while he placed his arm under his face," Krickovich's report said. "I struck the male in the right side of his head with a closed fist as a distractionary technique to free his right hand."

The video went viral over the weekend, with celebrities such as basketball legend Lebron James and Golden State Warriors coach Steve Kerr calling out the incident.

Miami Dolphins wide receiver Kenny Stills shared the video on Twitter with the hashtag #JusticeforLucca and called for the deputy to be fired.

"This man couldn’t wait to rough up a black child. Beyond sick of seeing this," Stills said Saturday. "The officers in this video need to be fired and all the chargers against Lucca need to be dropped. Plain and simple."

Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen released a statement Friday suggesting that the deputy in the video be fired and called the incident "outrageous and unacceptable."

"After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away," Bogen said. "If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground."

Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony tweeted a video clip from a Saturday meeting with the Broward Black Elected Officials group in which he says that he heard public outcries for the deputy to be fired but that there must be an investigative process first.

"That is the most dangerous and electrifying situation for any law enforcement administrator to handle," Tony said. "Any time a white deputy is involved in contact with using force with a black youth, this thing blows up."

Nicole Duarte and Anthony Cusumano contributed.