The Broward Sheriff’s Office is facing new accusations of excessive force after shocking video of a deputy tackling a Black student to the ground at Blanche Ely High School in Pompano Beach, Florida, NBC Miami reported.
An attorney for 17-year-old Jordan Bennett said the incident unfolded Feb. 21 as officers were responding to a fight between Bennett and another male student. The teenager was left with a permanent mark on his forehead after getting stitches for an injury he sustained when a deputy allegedly “tackled Bennent and slammed his head to the cafeteria floor.”
Part of the incident was captured on cellphone video, according to the station. The footage has sparked outrage among parents who’ve accused the department of brutality and excessive use of force.
Jasmine Rand, an attorney for the Bennett family, slammed the BSO and argued that deputies could’ve handled the situation much differently.
“Don’t tell me that you could not take my client, who engaged in a verbal altercation with another student, without leaving a permanent scar on his forehead,” Rand said during a Monday press conference. “I don’t buy it, the people of Broward County don’t buy it, and enough is enough.”
“If you keep coming for our babies, we’re going to keep for your badges, period,” she warned.
For many, the incident was reminiscent of that of 15-year-old DeLucca Rolle, who suffered a broken nose after Broward sheriff’s deputies forced him to the ground, struck him and slammed his head against the pavement outside a McDonald’s in Tamarac, Florida, last month. Rolle was originally charged with assaulting an officer and resisting arrest without violence, both of which were later dropped.
Rand argued that what happened to DeLucca and Bennett weren’t isolated incidents, but “a pattern and practice of the systemic abuse of our children at the hands of the Broward County Sheriff’s Office.”
Bennett’s mother, Debbie Bennett, also responded to the incident.
“I have been watching what happened to Lucca Rolle on television and I wanted people to know that it was not just an isolated incident,” she said in a statement. “What happened to Lucca happened to my son Jordan. The sheriff’s deputies abuse our black and brown children on a regular basis here in Broward County. “
The Broward Sheriff’s Office said it will not investigate the deputy in question. In fact, Sheriff Gregory Tony said the deputy acted appropriately.
“I’ve had an opportunity to read my deputy’s report,” Tony said. I’ve had an opportunity to look at the surveillance videos inside the school. I’ve had the opportunity to look at the body-worn camera. And the allegations that were made today by Mr. Bennett’s attorney are not consistent and they’re not accurate with what video footage shows.”
Watch more in the clip below.