FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – The rough arrest of a teenager in Tamarac nearly two weeks ago is still very much a hot topic.
A local chapter of Black Lives Matter is the latest to make a call for action, with the help of a motivated young lady.
When 17-year-old Chanice Leee saw the video of Delucca Rolle being pepper sprayed, thrown to the ground, punched and having his head bashed into the pavement by two Broward Sheriff’s deputies, she was angry.
But she knew her anger wouldn’t accomplish anything.
“Nothing is going to happen unless I effectively channel my anger into action,” Lee told CBS4 News.
Lee said she immediately contacted the Black Lives Matter Alliance of Broward County and asked for an urgent meeting to discuss what they can in light of the video.
Monday night at the Unitarian Univeralist church in Fort Lauderdale dozens gathered to share their concerns over the video and how they believe this is not an isolated incident.
“I shouldn’t be around police officers and be scared for my life but that has been the reality,” Lee said.
Black Lives Matter Broward is calling for the deputies on the video, Sergeant Gregory LaCerra and Deputy Christopher Krickovich, to be fired.
The two deputies in the video are suspended with pay. They also want to see deputies make changes to the way they interact with black and brown youth.
“We will not rest until those demands are met, it’s just continue to put pressure on people who have the power to make these types of changes, keep on putting on putting pressure to make sure they actually happen,” said Tifanny Burks, Black Lives Matter Community Organizer.
People at the meeting like Aretha Wimberly shared their concerns over the video.
“I cannot imagine that being my child,” Wimberly said. “They purposely wanted to inflict the pain on him.”
She added that as a grandmother she’s not sure where it’s safe for her grandson to go.
Another mother, Tequila Waters, spoke of her son, Damian’s recent death after an encounter with police in South Florida. She said there are many unanswered questions about his death.
“I’ll never see him again,” she said. “I can’t see him no more. I can’t feel him no more.”
The cellphone video from outside a McDonald’s in Tamarac has conjured up painful memories and hard feelings for people who believe that law enforcement officers often react differently to people of color. In this case, Broward prosecutors decided not to file criminal charges against Delucca Rolle. Chanice Lee believes her voice and her willingness to fight for change can help make a difference.
“When we rise together we can go far,” Lee said. “So that’s what keeps me joyful and optimistic.”
Last week CBS4 News sat down with Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony to discuss some of these issues.
He said that they cannot rush to judgment on the deputies and they must have due process in this case.
Tony also said that what is seen on the video is not indicative of the many, many interactions between law enforcement and the community.