FORT LAUDERDALE, FLA. (WSVN) - Zachary Cruz, the brother of admitted Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School shooter Nikolas Cruz, has announced that he plans to sue the Broward Sheriff’s Office over his treatment in jail.
Civil rights firm Nexus Derechos Humanos made the announcement on the 18-year-old’s behalf, claiming BSO violated Zachary’s constitutional rights and “tortured” the teen in jail.
Cruz was initially arrested on March 19 for trespassing onto the Marjory Stoneman Douglas campus, the very same place where his brother is accused of killing 17 people on Feb. 14.
After spending 10 days in jail on a $500,000 bond, Cruz was eventually sentenced to six months of probation.
According to a press release, civil lawyers for Zachary Cruz said BSO, prosecutors and the courts “targeted, harassed and tortured” the teen, “engaging in an extortive campaign of intimidation because of the identity of his brother.”
“Given the impossibly high bail, coupled with dehumanizing treatment in jail, Cruz was ultimately and unjustly forced to accept a guilty plea, just to escape the horrors of custody in the Broward main jail facility,” according to the Nexus press release.
The Nexus group accused officials of imposing an excessive $500,000 bail and jail guards of “intimidating and harassing behavior,” including sleep deprivation tactics.
“The use of 24-hour intense lighting are procedures that amount to torture,” they said.
The law firm said it would give more information on the federal lawsuit at a press conference Thursday.
This all comes after Cruz was re-arrested Wednesday, accused of violating the terms of his probation by coming too close to a school in which he wasn’t enrolled. Cruz issued a written plea of not guilty in the matter.
Cruz is currently at Broward County Jail, awaiting a 3 p.m. court hearing.
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