FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WIAT & WSVN) Attorney Ben Crump and Civil Rights leaders with the NAACP met at the Broward Public Defender’s Office in Fort Lauderdale Thursday to demand justice for Delucca Rolle.
Two deputies from the Broward County Sheriff’s Office are facing charges related to an alleged coverup of the violent assault of Rolle on April 18th in Tamarac, Florida. Rolle, a high school freshman at the time, attracted national concern when a video showed deputies slamming his face to the ground and pepper-spraying him outside a McDonald’s.
Now, months later, Civil Rights Attorney Crump, who is defending Rolle, claims the treatment of the officers involved is staggering compared to the treatment of the officer who was caught on camera slamming a student of the same age to the ground.
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Civil Rights activists in the press conference said there was a clear racial bias at the State Attorney’s Office.
Rolle was originally arrested and charged with resisting arrest and battery on an officer, but when cellphone video showing the arrest was released, it showed a different scenario. The deputies have seen pepper-spraying the teenager and throwing him on the ground before slamming his face against the pavement and punching him.
According to Crump and NAACP members, three white deputies involved were charged with misdemeanors in the case of Rolle, but when the video released last week showed a black BSO deputy slamming the 15-year-old girl on the ground, they said, he was fired nearly a week later and charged with a felony.
BSO, however, said the deputy has been suspended without pay.
The civil rights leaders said the two cases are similar and the only difference is the students’ skin color.
Crump and the NAACP members are calling for the State Attorney’s Office to review the charges against the deputies involved in Rolle’s case and upgrade them to felonies. They also claimed there is a racial bias inside the State Attorney’s Office.
“She kicked him, but she wasn’t charged with a crime,” said Crump. “Delucca Rolle did nothing, and he was charged with a crime. I’ll tell you what his crime was: the color of his skin.”
Prosecutors have not yet filed formal charges against Miller.
The State Attorney’s Office said that although Rolle was initially arrested, once they looked at all of the evidence, the State Attorney’s Office decided not to file any charges. They did, however, file misdemeanor charges against all three deputies involved.
Trial two for the deputies involved in the Rolle case is still pending.