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Florida deputies seen pepper-spraying and slamming teen in video are charged

Mom of teen slammed to ground by Florida cops

Fort Lauderdale, Florida—Three Broward County Sheriff's Office deputies are facing criminal charges for the rough arrest of a Tamarac teenager back in April, CBS Miami reports. Sergeant Gregory LaCerra, Deputy Christopher Krickovich, and Deputy Ralph Mackey were all charged on Wednesday, Broward State Attorney Mike Satz announced.

LaCerra, 51, was charged with two counts of battery for spraying 15-year-old Delucca Rolle in the face and forcing him into the pavement. He also faces one count of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records.

Krickovich, 29, was charged with two counts of battery for slamming Rolle's face into the ground and punching him in the head as well. Krickovich also faces two counts of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records.

Mackey, 49, was charged with one count of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records.

The falsifying records charges are a result of all three deputies failing to describe the incident accurately during the investigation of the arrest, according to the sheriff's office. The battery and falsifying records charges are first-degree misdemeanors, which carry punishments of up to one year in jail. While the conspiracy charges are second-degree misdemeanors, which could result in up to 60 days in jail.

It all began in April after authorities were called because of a fight in the parking lot of a McDonald's in Tamarac, where multiple students were gathered. In a viral cellphone video that captured the arrest, Rolle is seen trying to pick up a cell phone from another individual who was being arrested. Deputies then pepper-sprayed him, threw him to the concrete pavement and punched him.

Rolle was taken into custody, but his charges were later dropped. The arrest left Rolle with a fractured nose and head injuries and a video of his violent arrest taken on a cell phone drew outrage once it was shared throughout social media. It was only on Wednesday that charges were brought against the three law enforcement officials though.  

Clintina Rolle, Delucca's mother, told CBS News' Mark Strassmann in April that the videos were painful to watch. She heard about her son's arrest when one of the deputies called her.   

"I said, 'Sir, I don't believe my son hit the officer, that don't sound like him. He said, 'Oh you're telling me I'm lying, huh? You're telling me I'm lying?" she said. 

In May, demonstrators and members of the NAACP in Broward County took to the streets of Fort Lauderdale in a "Justice for Lucca" march to support Rolle. The movement included celebrities like LeBron James and Gabrielle Union supporting Rolle.

Sheriff Gregory Tony and BSO conducted an internal investigation, which was completed and handed over to the Broward State Attorney's Office on May 10. Two of the deputies had been suspended without pay during the internal investigation.

During the investigation by the State Attorney's Office, Rolle ran into trouble with Lauderhill police after he was charged with trespassing in a stolen conveyance and resisting an officer without violence in June. No more information was released about this incident. The three deputies are expected to be in court within the next few weeks, Satz said.