FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) – Witnesses, law enforcement officials and an expert took the stand in court against a former Broward Sheriff’s Office deputy accused in the tough takedown of teen Delucca Rolle.
Day two of former BSO Deputy Christopher Krickovich’s trial got underway Thursday afternoon when the state called student Blaine Lemelle.
Lemelle was outside a McDonald’s located at the Tamarac town square moments before Krickovich was seen apparently slamming then freshman Delucca Rolle’s head to the ground.
“That day, it’s clear to you that there’s police officers at the plaza at that point?” a prosecutor asked Lemelle.
“Yeah, there were several officers,” said Lemelle.
“And it’s clear they don’t want you all gathered around, watching or egging on or engaging in a fight?” asked the prosecutor.
“Yeah,” replied Lemelle.
Body-worn camera video that was played in court showed large crowds of students in the parking lot of the fast food restaurant where the incident happened.
The state also called Jeff Noble to give his expert opinion of Krickovich’s use of force.
“Well, generally we don’t grab people’s heads. We’ll grab the upper shoulders and pin you to the ground,” said Noble.
“Why the upper shoulders?” asked the prosecutor.
“Because we want to hold them to the ground, but you don’t want to risk a head injury. The head is a sensitive area,” said Noble.
After the state rested, the defense asked for a judgment of acquittal. It was denied.
Defense attorneys then built their case around fights reported at the location for years. They brought in witnesses who described the worsening violence.
Among the witnesses was Mamie Williams, who worked security at the McDonald’s.
“It was brutal. One [set of] kids would start fighting. It was just crazy; one fight turned into another fight,” she said.
BSO Deputy Patrick Keegan echoed Williams’ testimony.
“It progressively got worse with more students coming there. They were coming from other schools, fights almost daily,” he said.
The incident attracted national concern after video of the incident that went viral showed BSO Sgt. Gregory LaCerra pepper-spraying Rolle. Moments later, Krickovich is seen slamming Rolle’s head on the asphalt.
LaCerra’s case was dismissed after a Florida appeals court ruled he was standing his ground and acted in self-defense. That same appeals court rejected Krickovich’s use of the “stand your ground” defense and said his actions went beyond what was necessary to subdue Rolle.
Krickovich is being charged with misdemeanor battery as well as falsifying records.
Testimony has since wrapped up for the day. The trial is set to resume at 9 a.m. on Friday.
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