Update, April 19: Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony released a video statement Friday saying accountability is his focus. “This may take some time for us to thoroughly look into, but understand that we will be transparent, and if folks need to be held accountable, it shall be done,” Tony said.
BSO also released arrest reports for the two students who were assaulted by deputies. One deputy, Christopher Krickovich, wrote in his report he feared being struck “or having a student potentially grab weapons off of my belt or waist.” Krickovich has been placed on administrative assignment pending the investigation, meaning he is barred from entering BSO facilities and must surrender his weapon.
Meanwhile, Broward school board member Rosalind Osgood has asked for the deputies to be removed from the agency.
The Broward County Sheriff's Office says it is investigating a situation in which deputies pepper-sprayed, punched, and slammed into the ground at least two teens Thursday afternoon near J.P. Taravella High School.
Videos of the incident began rapidly spreading on social media Thursday night. The footage shows a teenage boy in a navy T-shirt being detained with his face pressed to the asphalt. Suddenly, a deputy pepper sprays another teen in a red shirt and throws him to the ground. The deputy slams the teen's face into the ground, then takes a swing and punches him in the face. A witness screams in horror, "What are you doing?! He's bleeding!" Another deputy handcuffs the teen behind his back.
Students from J.P. Taravella HS say they all showed up outside a nearby McDonalds to watch 2 students fight, officers responded, then this happened. Some are alleging abuse of force. We’re waiting to hear from BSO to learn what led to this violent chaos @WPLGLocal10 pic.twitter.com/yIpzaTxfkh— Christian De La Rosa (@delarosaWPLG) April 19, 2019
According to WSVN, deputies responded to a Tamarac McDonald's near the high school, where students had gathered to watch a fight. The deputies allegedly ended the fight but began to violently interact with students in the area. Two teens were taken into custody and another was hospitalized after being pepper sprayed, according to the TV station.
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The videos have caught the attention of several student activists at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which is considered both a sister school and rival to Taravella. Ryan Deitsch, one of the founders of Never Again MSD, called the footage "f**ked, no question." Parkland survivor Mei-Ling Ho-Shing shared the videos with a strong message against police brutality.
"OUR BLACK YOUTH AREN’T SAFE," she wrote. "We keep saying how more police is the answer to safety but is this what safety looks like?"
A spokeswoman for the Broward Sheriff's Office told the Sun Sentinel the agency is investigating the incident.
"BSO is aware of the video," Veda Coleman-Wright told the newspaper. "They’re investigating the incident to determine exactly what happened, how it started, how it escalated and they’re looking at the outcome of it."