Video shows Broward deputies pepper-spraying, punching teen
The mayor of Broward County on Friday called for the firing of a Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy caught on video punching and banging a teenager’s head on the ground during a violent arrest near J.P. Taravella High School. Broward’s sheriff promised a thorough investigation.
“The behavior of these Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies was outrageous and unacceptable,” Broward Mayor Mark Bogen said in a statement. “The officer who jumped on the student, punched the student and banged his head to the ground should be fired immediately.”
The video, which isn’t time-stamped, appears to have been shared on Snapchat and took place outside a McDonald’s near the high school. The footage, which has been making its way through the Internet, began with one student handcuffed and on the ground. Then as another male teen approaches a BSO deputy, the officer pepper-sprays the teen in the face.
When the officer took him to the ground, another deputy rushed in and forced the boy’s neck down. In the background, the video shows a female screaming, “What are you doing! What are you doing! He’s bleeding, he’s bleeding!” Dozens of bookbag-wearing students circled around the officers.
In the arrest affidavit for the two teens, Broward Sheriff’s Deputy Christopher Krickovich said the incident began when a group of students gathered to watch a fight. Krickovich said the first teen was taken into custody because he was trespassing and officers identified him as someone being involved in a fight on Wednesday. Krickovich said he took down the second teen as a crowd gathered and closed in on officers.
“Again, the three of us were outnumbered by the large group of students who were yelling, threatening us and surrounding us,” Krickovich wrote in an arrest report. “I had to act quickly fearing I would get struck or having a student potentially grab weapons off of my belt vest.”
Two teens were arrested. They were not named and their ages were not given. One was charged with trespassing, the other with assaulting an officer and obstruction without violence.
The video also caught the attention of Broward County School Board members, one who said she wanted the department to take immediate disciplinary action.
“The young man clearly had his hand by his side when he was attacked by these officers,” Rosalind Osgood wrote. “Please contact @browardsheriff to demand removal of these officers.”
On Friday afternoon Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony responded to the incident with a video statement. Gregory, appointed after the dismissal of Broward County Sheriff Scott Israel in the wake of the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting, said he was appointed to be accountable to the people and promised a thorough investigation.
“This may take some time for us to thoroughly look into,” he said.
Miami Herald reporter David Smiley contributed to this report.