A Florida officer was placed on restrictive duty this week after he was filmed using excessive force on a black teenager.
The incident took place Thursday afternoon near J.P. Taravella High School in Coral Springs, Florida. Cellphone footage shows Broward County sheriff’s deputy Christopher Krickovich jumping on the boy before slamming his head against the pavement as another individual laid on the ground in handcuffs.
Civil rights activist Shaun King shared the video on social media, along with others who identified the young man as 15-year-old Lucca.
"He’s a kind, sweet soul. He bent down to pick up the cell phone of another boy who was also wrongly arrested," Instagram user Markese Ture wrote. "[...] When he stood up, the officer sprayed his face with pepper spray then proceeded to brutally assault him. These kids were gathered at a local McDonald's after school when police showed up. Lucca broke no laws. Was unarmed. Non-violent."
According to the Sun Sentinel, the incident resulted in the arrest of two teenagers. One of the boys, who was said to be 15, was charged with simple assault and resisting arrest without violence; the other was reportedly released to his mom, as he had no criminal history.
Shortly after the graphic video was posted online, the hashtag #JusticeforLucca began trending. Many Twitter users began calling on Florida officials to take disciplinary action.
LeBron James and Warriors head coach Steve Kerr were among those who reacted to the video:
According to the Sun Sentinel, law enforcement arrived on the scene after receive a report of a fight. Krickovich wrote in a police report that the altercation had ended as he and other officers approached. It was at that time he spotted a teenager who had been warned against trespassing in the area.
"While I was dealing with the male on the ground, I observed his phone slide to the right of me and then behind me," Krickovich wrote. "I observed a teen wearing a red tank top reach down and attempt to grab the male student’s phone. [The teen] took an aggressive stance, bladed his body and began clenching his fists."
Krickovich wrote that he had feared for his safety.
Broward Sheriff Gregory Tony told Sun Sentinel that a "thorough investigation" into the incident will take place. The Montreal Gazette reports officer Krickovich was forced to surrender his gun and badge until the probe is completed.