By Saraana Jamraj
After pepper-spraying and slamming a 15-year-old’s head into the concrete outside of a Tamarac McDonald’s, one officer was acquitted after being charged with falsifying the police report.
Last April, three Broward Sheriff’s Office deputies were charged with various misdemeanors: Deputy Christopher Krickovich, the one seen on video repeatedly slamming Delucca Rolle, into the pavement, was charged with two counts of battery, and three counts of falsifying records. Sergeant Gregory LaCerra, who pepper-sprayed Rolle, was charged with two counts of battery and two counts of falsifying records, and Deputy Ralph Mackey was charged with two counts of falsifying records.
All three men plead not guilty on all counts. Mackey’s trial concluded on September 26, and Krickovich and LaCerra still await trial.
During Mackey’s trial, prosecutor Justin McCormack told jurors that Mackey constructed a police report that was designed to protect his colleagues, who committed unjustifiably violent acts.
“[The police report] was written to help his friends,” said McCormack.
During the trial, Rolle testified, and video evidence was submitted, which prosecutors argued did not line up with the deputy’s written statements. However, the prosecution suffered a blow when they were barred from using statements written by the other deputies as evidence. Without that evidence, the judge had to throw out the charge.
The jury was left to decide if Mackey was guilty of the remaining charge of falsifying records, and they ruled that he was not.
Mackey’s attorney, Robert Buschel, referred to the teenager as an aggressive suspect and argued that in writing the report, his client did not commit any crimes. While prosecutors argued that because video and bodycam footage included things which the report didn’t, the defense argued that just by mentioning the bodycam footage in the report, Mackey fulfilled his lawful duty.
Buschel and the defense expressed pleasure with the outcome when they received the not guilty verdict.
“Detective Mackey looks forward to going back to work as a Broward Sheriff’s Deputy,” said Buschel, according to WSVN.
Both Krickovich and LaCerra, who are suspended without pay, have hearings scheduled on January 9, 2020.
- Saraana Selene Jamraj is a writer, activist, and a student pursuing her master's degree in mass communications at Florida International University.
She's currently the communications manager at The Salt Box in Parkland and has lived in Coral Springs since 2004.