FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The NAACP and attorneys for the family of a teen who was pepper sprayed, forced to the ground, and had his head slammed into the pavement by two Broward Sheriff’s deputies are demanding those responsible be held accountable.
Delucca Rolle, 15, was arrest last week when deputies descended on a McDonald’s in Tamarac responded to a call about a fight in the parking lot.
Cell phone video shows Rolle picking up a cell phone from another who was being arrested when he was pepper spray by a deputy who forced him to the ground. Rolle was then taken into custody.
WATCH: TEEN PEPPER SPRAYED, HEAD SLAMMED INTO GROUND DURING ARREST
On Monday, after Delucca and his mother, Clintina, his aunt, and their attorney met with Broward prosecutors it was decided that no charges would be filed.
Both deputies seen in the video taking Rolle into custody have been suspended with pay pending the outcome of an internal affairs investigation.
“We never felt that Delucca Rolle should have been charged with anything in the first place when you review that video. In fact, we believe the video provides ocular proof of who really committed a crime that day. When you review that video we want the evidence to show the State Attorney, just like it has shown all of us, who really committed a crime that day. We submit to you the only individuals that assaulted and battered anybody was the Broward Sheriff Office deputies when they pepper sprayed and then slammed to the ground and then beat his head against the concrete and punched him. An unarmed 15-year-old child, that’s what these thugs did to this young black child,” said attorney Benjamin Crump who is representing the teen and his mother.
Crump said from what he saw in the video, the deputies were not acting professionally or following standard procedures.
“What did he do for the police to use this kind of unnecessary, excessive force,” said Crump.
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Crump said they demand that the Broward State Attorney that they hold the officers in the video who committed a crime accountable.
“People need to be held accountable when they break the law. Nobody is above the law. It doesn’t matter if you have a uniform, a gun, and a badge. This is one America, there are no two different justice systems for black people and white people. No, it is one America,” he said.
Crump said after Delucca was taken into custody, there was a conspiracy to cover up and try to justify the deputies’ actions.
“Delucca Rolle had never been arrested for anything but he was made to spend the night in custody at the detention facility,” he said. “The Broward Sheriff’s deputies knew that if they trumped up enough charges, that even though he desperately wanted to get to his mother and his mother desperately wanted to bring her child home, and that he knew that he was hurting, but they made him stay in custody that night because they charged him with aggravated assault and resisting and trespassing which would equal 12 points or more which automatically makes you have to stay in custody,” he said.
Crump said Clintina Rolle was not able to see her son until the next day in court. At that point, she had not seen the video.
“The people who I think are there to protect my child, hurt my child, I couldn’t believe it, I said no, I couldn’t believe it. When he got locked up and they tried to clean up all the blood, when I picked him up I said ‘did they treat you’ and he said ‘they only washed my eyes’. I had to take him to Broward Hospital for them to take X-rays,” said Rolle.
Delucca was diagnosed with a fractured nose and head injuries.
“They beat him like an animal. If I did that every police officer would be at my door,” said Rolle.
Anthony Williams, a retired police chief who is the Criminal Justice chair of the Florida NAACP, said the Broward Sheriff’s Office internal investigation into the incident will be asking a number of questions, including about slamming Delucca face into the pavement.
“After the child was thrown to the ground were there any other techniques within the use of force matrix that could have been used in order to subdue and handcuff that kid,” he asked.
“There are a lot of officers out there doing it right but sometimes we get it wrong. So please understand that this is not to condemn all officers but at the same time when we get it wrong, we need to be held accountable,” he added.
“We have had a number of incidents all throughout this country where children have been brutalized at the hands of law enforcement. We have to make a stand, this community needs to come together, and we need the State Attorney, the Sheriff’s Office, to recognize that we will no longer allow that type of brutalization to occur in this community,” said Gordon Weeks with the Public Defender’s Office.
The Broward State Attorney’s Office has opened an investigation into this case.