FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla. – A Broward Sheriff's Office deputy accused of falsifying records in connection with the rough arrest of a 15-year-old boy in April walked into a Broward County courtroom Tuesday as he gets ready to head to trial.
Deputy Ralph Mackey is charged with one count of falsifying records and one count of conspiracy to falsify records. Both are misdemeanors.
On Tuesday, the judge screened a pool of potential jurors, but since the case was so public and made national headlines it became clear that seating a solid impartial jury was going to take some time.
"Having heard of this case, are you capable of putting aside anything you heard or (have) seen and render a true and lawful verdict based on the instructions I will give you?" the judge asked one potential juror.
"I don't know," the juror replied.
Mackey is one of three deputies charged after Delucca Rolle was pepper-sprayed and thrown to the pavement April 18 outside a McDonald's in Tamarac.
Rolle was arrested after the incident, but the charges were later dropped.
Deputy Christopher Krickovich and Sgt. Gregory LaCerra are each charged with two counts of battery. Prosecutors said Krickovich was the deputy seen on cellphone video slamming the teenager's head to the pavement and punching him in the head, while LaCerra doused the teen in the face with pepper spray.
Mackey is accused of falsifying information in the deputies' reports.
Attorneys for Krickovich and LaCerra have filed motions to dismiss the charges.
All three deputies have been suspended without pay pending the outcome.