FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The cellphone video of Broward Sheriff’s deputies pepper-spraying a teen in Tamarac, throwing him to the ground and slamming his head into the concrete continues to make headlines in Florida and across the country.
On Monday a small group of protestors demanded action be taken against the deputy seen on top of the teen, Deputy Christopher Krickovich.
According to the Broward Sheriff’s Office the teen in the video bent down to pick up a cell phone of another juvenile accused of trespassing.
Then, according to a BSO report, the teen bladed his body and clenched his fists and that’s when the pepper spray happened. Activist Antoine Edwards 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 publicly condemned by several Broward leaders, including the Mayor Mark Bogen and Rosalind Osgood, a member of the Broward School Board. Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony denied our request for an on camera interview and has stood by a video statement released by the agency last week saying they will do an investigation.
“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.”
High profile lawyer Benjamin Crump confirmed to CBS4 News that he’s now representing the teen and his family accused in the case. Also, there is a Go Fund Me account set up to raise funds for the teen’s defense.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office announced today that they opened an investigation into this case and is in the process of setting up a meeting with the teen’s attorney. Also, Marsha Ellison, with the Broward chapter of the NAACP office told CBS 4 News that they believe this is police brutality and they are planning a news conference for Thursday morning.
Meanwhile, the union representing the deputies in the video said they stand by them.
“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.”
Union President Jeff 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.
Antoine 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.”
As for the BSO Internal Affairs investigation, the agency told CBS4 News that investigators will look at cellphone video, body camera footage from the deputies and they’ll talk to witnesses and attempt to talk to the deputies themselves.
Investigators will look at whether BSO training was followed as well as the agency’s use of force protocols.