Video shows police punching Bahamian teen living in Florida
A white police officer in Florida was placed on restricted duty after a video which depicted him pepper spraying, punching and slamming a 15-year-old Bahamian boy living in Florida.
The video, which was circulated on social media and went viral, shows officers from Broward County outside J.P. Taravella High School.
In the video, an officer pepper sprayed the Bahamian boy in the face and slammed him onto the pavement as a crowd of teens looked on, some screaming.
Another officer then jumped into frame and pounded the student’s head on the pavement.
In the video, onlookers, who appear to be students, can be heard screaming, “What are you doing? Stop. He’s bleeding.”
The teen’s mother, who called him by a nickname, “Lucaa”, said the incident happened after a fight broke out among school students in Tamarac, Florida, last Thursday.
Lucaa’s mother, who is from The Bahamas, said she was driving when she heard what had happened.
“I had to pull over,” said the mother, whose name The Nassau Guardian has withheld.
“I was crying.
“[I felt] bad. I wasn’t feeling well. [I was] depressed, shocked, hurt. It felt like all of my stomach, like my belly [broke] down. Literally, I didn’t feel well.”
When asked if she went to the hospital to be with her son, she said, “No, they locked him up.”
She claimed that officers only took him to the hospital to “wash his eyes”.
“They didn’t check to see what was going on,” she said.
She added that Lucaa, who has both American and Bahamian citizenship, was picking up a cell phone when the incident took place and “the officer pushed his head”.
She told The Nassau Guardian, “…The officer walked behind him and slammed him down and struck his head to the ground forcefully, which caused his nose to be fractured.”
In an arrest warrant affidavit, dated April 18, 2019, Deputy Christopher Krickovich, one of the officers seen in the video, claimed that Lucaa “took an aggressive stance” toward one of the police officers.
Krickovich said Lucaa “bladed his body and began clenching his fists” at officers.
“With the crowd closing in and the loud yelling and threats towards us, I pushed down on the male to ensure my weight was full on his person so he could not attempt to take flight or fight us,” the affidavit read.
The officer said at one point he “struck the male in the right side of his head with a closed fist”.
Krickovich has been placed on restricted duty, according to authorities.
On Friday, Broward County Sheriff Gregory Tony said his department was conducting a full investigation and will review it “as a fact-finding measure to ensure that we find folk accountable”.
County Mayor Mark Bogen said the officer “who jumped the student, punched and banged his head, should be fired”.
Over the weekend, the hashtag “JusticeForLucca” went viral with several celebrities, including actress Gabrielle Union and basketball player LeBron James, expressing support for Lucaa in light of the incident.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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