Rafael Olmedo ReporterSouth Florida Sun Sentinel

The president and CEO of a group suing Broward officials for violating the civil rights of Zachary Cruz, brother of the Parkland school shooter, called on Broward SheriffScott Israel to resign Thursday.

“Your deputies don’t have confidence in you, the people don’t have confidence in you,” said Mike Donovan, whose group Nexus Services filed the federal lawsuit on Thursday.

“You need to go,” he said during a news conference.

Sheriff Israel, speaking at a national day of prayer service at his agency’s headquarters Thursday morning, said he had not seen a lawsuit and declined to comment on the jail’s treatment of Cruz. He has indicated several times he has no intention of resigning.

The lawsuit names the captain who oversees the Broward Main Jail for the sheriff’s office, the prosecutor assigned to the case, and Broward County Judge Kim Theresa Mollica, who set a $500,000 bond for Cruz in March, when Cruz was charged with trespassing, a misdemeanor with a maximum 60-day jail sentence.

Donovan also accused deputies at main jail of “torturing” Cruz, using “sleep-deprivation tactics we wouldn’t tolerate on the battlefield.”

Cruz was arrested again this week, accused of violating the terms of his probation.

He was first arrested in March, accused of trespassing at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School. Weeks earlier, his brother, Nikolas Cruz, killed 17 people and injured 17 more at the Parkland school.

Zachary Cruz entered a no contest plea to resolve the charge. The lawsuit seeks to have Cruz’s plea deal set aside.

“The treatment he received [in jail] was coercive,” said Dallas LePierre, an attorney with Nexus Derechos Humanos, a group of pro bono attorneys. “That makes the contract — and the plea deal was a contract — unconscionable in its terms.”

Cruz walked into a Broward courtroom Thursday afternoon to face a probation violation hearing. Broward County Judge Melinda Brown agreed to release him under the terms of a new agreement barring him from driving without a valid license.

Attorney Mark S. Lowry argued in court papers filed Wednesday that Zachary Cruz did not violate the conditions of his probation, and prosecutors apparently agreed.

Lowry argued that Cruz was near a school in Palm Beach County last Saturday, but his presence there was not a violation of the terms of his probation.

“One condition of Mr. Cruz’s probation was that he not be present at any school unless enrolled there,” Lowry wrote. “Mr. Cruz was not ordered to stay away from all roads that intersect, touch or otherwise come near a school’s property.”

Prosecutor Sarahnell Murphy told Brown that Cruz was spotted near the entrance to a skate park that happened to be near a school and said there wasn’t enough evidence to establish that he violated probation on that allegation.

His guardian, Rocxanne Deschamps, had called the Broward Sheriff’s Office over the weekend, concerned that he was driving without a license or insurance. The sheriff’s Department of Community Programs Director David Scharf saw Cruz on Saturday near Park Vista Community High School in Lake Worth.

That information was enough to convince Brown to sign an arrest warrant Monday accusing Cruz of violating his probation.

Staff writer Paula McMahon contributed to this report.