Broward Sheriff’s Det. Ralph Mackey, the first of three deputies accused of lying about the head-slamming takedown of a teenager in Tamarac, was found not guilty Thursday. The verdict is a possible sign that the viral videos of the encounter may not be enough to convince jurors that law enforcement used excessive force.
“The jury’s verdict today stands as a complete rejection of the Facebook-frenzy prosecution against Det. Ralph Mackey,” said his lawyer, Robert Buschel. “It was a politically motivated prosecution, and the verdict bore that out."
The April 18 arrest of Delucca Rolle, then 15, drew national outrage when cellphone videos recorded by bystanders showed him being shoved, pepper sprayed and taken to the ground by one deputy, then straddled by a second deputy who punched him on the side of the face from behind and slammed his head into the asphalt. Mackey was accused of lying in his report to justify the conduct of his fellow deputies.
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