On April 18, 2019, a video was released of Sergeant Greg LaCerra and Officer Christopher Krickovich pepper spraying and punching 15-year-old Delucca Rolle in the face.
According to a witness of the event, more students than usual had come to a McDonald’s near J.P. Taravella High School because “somebody was going to get jumped.” Records from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office showed that police had been called to said McDonald’s an astounding 85 times since August of 2018. Vandalism, trespassing, and “suspicious people” were the most common reasons why they were called.
According to other students of J.P. Taravella, two fights occurred at the school earlier in the day of the April 18th incident. This is an explanation why the police showed up in their best robocop gear to “deal with” hyped up teenagers. An unnamed teen was involved in a fight there a day earlier. Delucca was assaulted and arrested after reaching to pick up the aforementioned teen’s phone. According to Officer Krickovich, Delucca disobeyed Sgt. LaCerra’s order to stay away and then had an “aggressive stance” toward both officers.
Krickovich wrote these things in his report:
“Again, the three of us were outnumbered by a large group of students who were yelling threats and surrounding us.”
“I had to act quickly fearing I would get struck or have a student potentially grab weapons off of my belt or vest.”
[Referring to punching Delucca’s head] “as a distractionary technique” [to free his right hand in order to cuff him].
“The technique was successful and I was able to place him into handcuffs without further incident.”
The two deputies were later suspended in full after initially being relieved of duty by Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony. Both LaCerra and Krickovich are charged with using excessive force during the arrest. The cases are still pending.
Obviously, this was an egregious miscarriage of “the law.” However, that wasn’t what I was focused on. My eyes turned to the comments people were leaving on the video and articles about the altercation.