Last Thursday evening, police officers from Broward County, Florida were called to breakup a group of students at a shopping center in Tamarac. Once the fight was broken up, the teenagers were asked to leave the premises. One male teenage student was arrested for trespassing, causing an uproar. One of the witnesses on the scene pulls out their phone and begins to record as the situation escalates. The video has now gone viral, according to NBC News.
The video, which is difficult to watch, shows a teenager walk over to the student that had been arrested. A deputy body slammed the individual to the ground, his face smacking into the asphalt as the officers climb on top of him. He is punched in the head and pepper sprayed, as is depicted in the video and stated in the police report. A large group of students stands close by. Many are heard screaming.
“What are you doing? He’s bleeding,” a witness is heard yelling in the background.
One teenager was arrested for trespassing while the other was arrested for assaulting an officer, resisting arrest, and trespassing. Because they are minors, their names have not been publicly released.
Deputy Christopher Krickovich was one of the officers who took down the teenager. He said that he acted because he saw the boy take an “aggressive stance” towards another deputy. He said that he punched the teenager to distract him so he could get him handcuffed before one of the many students gathered could intervene.
“At this point, his left arm was free and next to him. I struck the male in the right side of his head with a closed fist as a distractionary technique to free his right hand.”
Broward County Mayor Mark Bogen wants Krickovich fired and believes that the deputy did not need to slam the student down. He called the incident “outrageous and unacceptable.”
“After being sprayed, the teen held his face and walked away. If the deputy wanted to arrest the student, he could have easily done so without throwing him to the ground.”
Krickovich has now been placed on administrative assignment, forcing him to give up his county-issued weapons. He may not enter any sheriff’s facility without being approved by internal affairs, with the exception of his own department.
Newly-appointed Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony issued a public statement saying that the incident is being investigated. He promised accountability and transparency as the investigation unfolds.