The mother of 15-year-old Bahamian Delucca Rolle, who was violently arrested by Broward County police officers, has retained civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump to take “every legal remedy possible” to bring the matter to justice.
Crump, who is perhaps best known for representing the family of Trayvon Martin, also represents Harold Williams, a Bahamian who was stabbed in the face in Florida last month.
Attorney Jasmine Rand, who also represented Martin’s family, represents Williams and Rolle.
“We first want to say that Ms. Rolle is grateful to the state attorney for dropping the charges against Lucca because as a single mother… raising a black male child, she understands how daunting it is to have him caught up in the criminal justice system,” Crump said in a press conference held by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) in Broward County, live streamed from WSVN-TV 7 News Facebook page yesterday.
“But let it be clear on the record…we never felt that Delucca Rolle should have been charged with anything in the first place when you review that video.
“In fact, we believe the video provides ocular proof of who really committed a crime that day.
“When you review that video, we want the evidence to show the state attorney just like it has shown all of us … who really committed a crime that day.
“And we submit to you the only individuals [who] assaulted and battered anyone [were] the Broward [County] Sheriff’s Office (BCSO) deputies; when they pepper sprayed, and then slammed to the ground, and then beat his head against the concrete and punched him, an unarmed 15-year-old child.
“…We’re going to demand that the state attorney bring charges.
“We’re going to demand that the BSO leadership hold those officers accountable with their employment.
“They do not need to have a gun and a badge if they’re going to treat our children like this…”
Minister of Foreign Affairs Darren Henfield said yesterday that he won’t comment on the incident itself but said his ministry is still looking into the incident.
“I know the kid has dual citizenship even though you reported it as a Bahamian student in your [headline],” Henfield said outside the House of Assembly.
“He’s actually a naturalized American citizen and we’re looking into it still.”
Rolle’s mother said he is also a Bahamian citizen and both his parents are Bahamian.
In the video that went viral on social media, an officer from Broward County outside J.P. Taravella High School can be seen pepper-spraying Rolle before slamming him onto the pavement. A second officer jumped into frame and pounded Rolle’s head on the pavement as a crowd of teens looked on, screaming.
Since the incident, both officers involved have been placed on administrative leave, according to authorities.
Rand said yesterday that she does not think that the officers’ current punishment is enough.
“I don’t think the action of putting the officers on administrative leave is strong enough,” Rand said in an interview with The Nassau Guardian.
“I think [their] employment should be terminated.
“There’s no disputing the facts or the evidence…”
Rand added that Crump will pursue legal action against BCSO to hold them accountable in a civil capacity and will continue pushing for the termination of the officers’ employment.