FORT LAUDERDALE, Fla.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Nexus Services announces it has funded a lawsuit filed by Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc. today against Defendants Captain Veronica Carroll of the Broward County Sherriff’s Office, Nurse Gayle Kite of Armor Correctional Health, and Dr. Nelson A. Hernandez of the Broward County Health Center to hold these defendants accountable for their willful and malicious acts designed to keep an 18-year-old in custody even though he had paid his bond and should have been released. Cruz’s constitutional rights were violated in March 2018 when he was refused discharge from Broward County Jail after he had paid his $25 bail.
The Defendants engaged in an extortive campaign of intimidation because of the identity of Cruz’s brother. Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc. will utilize 42 U.S.C. § 1983 as the statutory vehicle to vindicate Cruz’s rights under the Fourth and Fourteenth Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
“This is harassment under the color of law,” said Mike Donovan, CEO of Nexus Services. “Zach’s rights must be protected by the federal courts to assure his safety and security and to guard against constitutional-rights abuses, which erode our basic ideals of liberty and justice. It’s sad we must engage in more litigation, but the Broward Sheriff’s office presents a maze of reporting relationships and responsibilities that make it very difficult to determine who is responsible for what area of jail operations. Through discovery in the Green action Zach’s attorneys now have the identity of the main offenders, and this lawsuit intends to prosecute those offenders to the fullest extent that the law will permit, and compel the necessary changes in policy that will finally allow Broward to put the ugliness of these acts in history.”
Cruz, the younger brother of Parkland school shooter Nikolas Cruz, was arrested for skateboarding on school property on March 19, 2018. After he posted his assigned $25 bail, authorities conspired to hold Cruz in custody by resetting his bond to an excessive $500,000, then engaged in a crusade of intimidation and torture once he was in Broward County’s primary jail facility.
Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc. agreed to accept Captain Green’s settlement offer at the conclusion of the original lawsuit against Broward County Sherriff’s Office to pursue further accountability of the named Defendants, who are directly responsible for the cruelties and civil rights violations endured by Cruz.
In order to prevent Zachary Cruz’s release, Defendant Carroll condoned Defendant Kite’s maliciously initiation of proceedings to involuntary commit Cruz under Florida’s ‘Baker Act’ on nonexistent grounds. At Defendant Kite’s insistence, Cruz was detained in Broward County Health Center. Defendant Hernandez, a doctor at the center, commenced litigation to termination Cruz’s authority to make medical decisions, operating under the baseless assumption that Cruz’s mental state must resemble his brother’s.
After spending five days at the center, doctors decided against prescribing Cruz psychiatric medications because Cruz did not display signs of being a mentally disturbed person. Consequently, Cruz was released back to the custody of Broward County Jail and Defendant Carroll.
In sum, by unlawfully confining Cruz to jail, shipping him to a mental health facility with no objective justification and then re-detaining him in jail, the Defendants unsurprisingly coerced a plea deal from Cruz, subjecting him to undue and severe duress.
Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc. is a pro bono civil-rights law firm committed to holding public officials accountable for placing money or politics above the lives of human beings, protecting due-process rights to be free from government coercion and demanding justice and enforcement of hard-won civil rights. http://www.ndhlawyers.com/
Nexus Services, Inc. is a leading provider of immigrant bail securitization and prisoner reentry services. The organization funds Nexus Derechos Humanos Attorneys, Inc. as a part of its corporate giving to increase access to justice for disadvantaged people across the United States. http://www.nexushelps.com/