A Broward County sheriff’s deputy has been fired after he was seen on a cell phone video slamming a teenager’s face onto the pavement at a South Florida strip mall earlier this year, authorities said Wednesday.
An internal affairs review recommended Deputy Christopher Krickovich “be exonerated despite the video testimony and other evidence showing a clear violation of BSO’s use-of-force policy,” the Broward County Sheriff’s Office said.
Sheriff Greg Tony rejected the recommendation and decided to terminate Krickovich, who had been suspended without pay, authorities said.
‘”When my deputies do the right thing, I will always support them and have their back. But I will not stand idly by while anyone violates his or her sworn duty to protect,” Tony said in a news release.
The cellphone video recording of the incident in Tamarac, near Fort Lauderdale on April 18 went viral and sparked outrage on social media.
It showed 15-year-old Delucca Rolle being body slammed and pepper-sprayed. The teenager’s face was slammed into the pavement once he was on the ground.
Broward County deputies were also accused of filing bogus charges against the teen. Those charges were later dropped.
The State Attorney’s Office declined to charge the teen, who faced charges including resisting arrest and trespassing after his arrest.
The union that represents Krickovich said Wednesday it “is disappointed that the Sheriff has once again violated the procedural due process” of the deputy, which resulted in his termination.
“Krickovich could not speak on his behalf at a pre disciplinary hearing and was not afforded a proper ‘Loudermill hearing,'” Jeff Bell, the president of the Broward Sheriff’s Office Deputies Association, said in a statement.
“Sheriff Tony forced Krickovich to choose between giving up his right to remain silent and not self-incriminate himself or speak at a hearing to save his job,” Bell said.
Any statement at the hearing would be used against Krickovich in an upcoming criminal case, Bell said.
In a statement Wednesday, civil rights attorney Ben Crump, who represents the teenager’s family, said the announcement of the firing “validates what we already knew: This young boy was the victim of a brutal and unjustifiable attack by Broward law enforcement officers who were sworn to protect him.”
Two other deputies were investigated in the case.
Deputy Ralph Mackey received a written reprimand for not activating his body-worn camera. The results of the investigation into Sgt. Gregory LaCerra were not announced pending due process, according to Tony.
In July, LaCerra and Krickovich were charged by the Broward County State Attorney’s office with misdemeanor battery, falsifying documents and conspiracy. Their cases are pending, and the next court hearing is scheduled for December 19, according to the Broward State Attorney’s Office.
Bell said the union is confident LaCerra “will resolve his case with a not guilty verdict.”
Deputy Mackey was accused of falsifying records and conspiracy. A jury found him not guilty in September, according to court records.
Bell said Mackey is now back to full duty.