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Video shows deputy pounding teen's head into the ground after he was pepper-sprayed

Editor's Note: The Broward County State Attorney's Office announced Tuesday, well after the story below was posted, that no charges would be filed against the teenager involved but that the investigation into the actions of the deputies seen on the video would continue. The story below said charges had been filed. 

Fort Lauderdale, Fla. -- Prosecutors are examining the actions of a Florida sheriff's deputy who slammed the head of a teen who'd been pepper-sprayed into the ground. Broward County State Attorney Mike Satz announced Monday that his staff will meet Tuesday with the 15-year-old student who had the altercation with two deputies, which was caught on cellphone video.

The deputies had responded to a fight Thursday outside a McDonald's in the Fort Lauderdale suburb of Tamarac, where 200 students had gathered, most of them African-Americans, reports CBS Miami.

Reports from the Broward County Sheriff's Office say the 15-year-old picked up a phone belonging to a student being detained for alleged trespassing.

Video shows Sgt. Greg LaCerra spraying the teen after he stood up and appeared to say something to him. LaCerra then threw the teen to the ground, where Deputy Christopher Krickovich jumped on him, slammed his head twice and punched him. A third deputy helps Krickovich pin the teen's arms behind his back to be handcuffed as the video ends.

Krickovich said he pushed down on the teen because he was trying to get up and he feared the teen would try to fight him or flee.

"The three of us were outnumbered by the large group of students who were yelling, threatening us and surrounding us," Krickovich wrote. "I had to act quickly, fearing I would get struck or having a student potentially grab weapons off my belt."

The teen, whose name wasn't released, was charged with assaulting a police officer, resisting arrest and trespassing. He wasn't seriously hurt.

Krickovich was placed on restricted duty. His union says his actions were in self-defense.

On Monday, a small group of protestors demanded action be taken against Krickovich, CBS Miami says. Among them, activist Antoine Edwards, who said he believes the teen did nothing wrong.

"Nothing about (the teen's actions) was excessive and nothing about that was a threat and I think just because we're black we're presumed to be threats," Edwards told reporters outside the Broward Sheriff's Office Public Safety Building. "But we're human beings just like everyone else and we deserve to be treated as such."

The video has been condemned by several Broward leaders, including Mayor Mark Bogen, who called the deputies' actions "outrageous and unacceptable."

High profile lawyer Benjamin Crump confirmed to CBS Miami that he's now representing the teen accused in the case and his family. Also, a GoFundMe account has been set up to raise funds for the teen's defense.

Marsha Ellison, who's with the Broward chapter of the NAACP, told CBS Miami the organization sees this as police brutality and is planning a news conference for Thursday morning.

Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony denied the station's request for an on-camera interview and has stood by a video statement released by the agency last week saying an investigation is being conducted.

"Over the next few days, this may take time for us to look thoroughly into," Tony said. "But understand we will be transparent and it folks need to be held accountable, it shall be done."

The police union stood by the deputies.

"What they did that day they were trained to do," said Jeff Bell, President of the Broward Sheriff's Office Deputies Association. "They were following their agency implemented training. They used the amount of force necessary to affect the arrest."

Bell said deputies are allowed to pepper spray before being kicked or punched.

He also said it's standard policy for deputies to take someone who's been pepper sprayed to the ground and that deputies were trying to subdue the juvenile and that's why his head was slammed into the ground.

Edwards says he doesn't see the need for a lengthy investigation.

"I don't understand what they mean they say they have to do an investigation when we all saw the same video," Bell said. "There can't be another side because it is what it is."

The Sheriff's Office Internal Affairs division told CBS Miami investigators will look at cellphone video and body camera footage from the deputies and will speak with witnesses and try to talk to the deputies themselves.

Investigators will look at whether BSO training and the agency's use of force protocols were followed.

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