By Ted Scouten

FORT LAUDERDALE (CBSMiami) – Civil rights leaders want the Broward State Attorney’s Office to increase the severity of the charges against two Broward Sheriff’s deputies accused of the rough arrest of Delucca Rolle.

Rolle was arrested last April when deputies descended on a Tamarac McDonald’s in response to a call about a fight in the parking lot.

Cellphone video shows Delucca stop to pick up a cellphone dropped by another teen who was arrested by sheriff’s deputies.

That’s when BSO Sgt. Gregory LaCerra is accused of prepper spraying Rolle before shoving him to the ground. Deputy Christopher Krickovich is accused of slamming Rolle’s head into the ground and punching him.

WATCH: TEEN PEPPER SPRAYED, HEAD SLAMMED INTO GROUND DURING ARREST

 

Rolle was arrested and initially charged with battery and resisting arrest. The state, however, decided not to go forward with charges. The video of the arrest went viral and sparked a national outcry.

The two deputies involved in his arrest are facing misdemeanor battery charges.

“There are two justice systems in America apparently, one for black people and one for white people,” said Civil Rights Attorney Benjamin Crump at a news conference in Fort Lauderdale.

Crump, Rolle’s attorney, compared this case to another case where a white girl is seen on video tapping or kicking School Resource Officer Willard Miller’s leg. A few moments later, the deputy slammed the girl to the ground.

Miller, who is black, was charged with a felony and terminated, while the girl faced no charges.

“This white girl did kick the officer, she kicked him, but she wasn’t charged with a crime. Delucca Rolle did nothing and he was charged with a crime. I’ll tell you what his crime was, the color of his skin,” said Crump. “These officers should be charged with the same felony charges that they charged the black police officer, with having this excessive force against this white child.”

The State Attorney’s Office issued a statement about Deputy Miller, saying, in part, “…we do not yet have all the paperwork from the Sheriff’s Office and our prosecutors have not yet filed any formal charge.”

READ THE STATE ATTORNEY’S OFFICE’S FULL STATEMENT

Crump says the white deputies in the Rolle case should face more severe charges.

“When you brutalize a child you should be charged with a felony,” he said. “They was correct what they did with the black officer, they was incorrect what they did with the white officers.”

LaCerra’s attorney, Eric Schwartzreich, released a statement, which read:

“None of the deputies should have been charged with any crime. This case is not about race. It’s about outnumbered deputies caught up in a chaotic and volatile crowd. There were members in that crowd who were there that day to fight each other that day, the day before and on numerous days. While there were those with good intentions in the crowd, there were those whose intentions were less than honorable. None of this had to do with race, and all of this was legally justified, and not a crime. There are no crimes there committed that day by deputies. The first deputy was exonerated and the next two will be as well.”

The State Attorney’s Office told CBS4 News in the case of a school resource officer, the rules are different.

“School resource officers who use excessive force on a student may be charged with felony child abuse. However, school resource officers who use excessive force cannot ordinarily be charged with misdemeanor battery. The reason is because school resource officers are acting ‘in place of a parent’ and as such cannot be charged with misdemeanor battery – they can be charged with felony child abuse if the conduct rises to that level.”

On Thursday, the civil rights leaders said these actions are proof of racial bias in Broward County and in the State Attorney’s Office.

Ted Scouten

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