Brother of Parkland Shooter Sues Broward County Over Alleged Torture
Zachary Cruz, the brother of the Parkland, Florida shooter, has filed a lawsuit against Broward County officials, accusing them of violating his rights and torturing him while he was in jail.
Zachary was first arrested March 19 on a misdemeanor trespassing charge for skateboarding on the campus of Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, where his brother shot and killed 17 people the month before. Ten days later, Zachary was sentenced to six months of probation and ordered to wear a GPS monitor, stay a mile away from campus and have no contact with Parkland victims, their family members or his brother.
Zachary was arrested again Tuesday night for violating his probation by operating an SUV without a driver’s license and by being near to the school where he wasn’t enrolled. He was seen about 25 feet from a parking lot for Park Vista Community High School on Saturday.
According to the lawsuit, Judge Kim Theresa Mollica set a bail of $500,000 for Zachary based on his older brother’s crimes and that jail workers harassed him and deprived him of sleep.
“After he posted his $25 bail, authorities conspired to hold him in custody, reset his bond to an excessive $500,000, and then engaged in a campaign of intimidation and torture once he was in the Broward main jail facility,” the legal rights group Nexus Derechos Humanos said in a statement.
When Zachary was in jail, Sherea Green, a member of the jail’s executive staff, allegedly forced him to be admitted to a mental institution, even though he had no previous history of mental illness. He had to spend five days at the Broward Health Medical Center. The doctors determined that Zachary didn’t show signs of being a mentally disturbed person.
After Zachary was sent back to jail, he was placed on 24-hour suicide watch and was forced to wear a heavy suicide jacket and endure bright lights all day and night.
“The sleep deprivation tactics, including the use of intimidating and harassing behavior by guards, the use of a restraint vest 24 hours per day, and the use of 24-hour intense lighting, are procedures that amount to torture under the Geneva Convention, and are behaviors we do not permit soldiers to use in the battlefield,” the Nexus Derechos Humanos statement said.
Zachary want a jury trial and seeks punitive damages and expenses.
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