*A Florida family is demanding answers from law enforcement after a 13-year-old boy was killed during a traffic stop.
The incident occurred Sunday afternoon after Stanley Davis Jr. filled up his dirt bike at a Chevron gas station. Surveillance cameras captured the moment the teenager noticed a police car turning to the same station, and the officer appears to follow Davis Jr. as he takes off, CBS Miami reports.
The video does not show the actual crash and the footage has no audio. According to police, the boy’s dirt bike went down off of North Federal Highway during the attempted stop, and Davis died.
The police cruiser that was involved in the incident was “not equipped with a dashcam,” according to the Boynton Beach PD.
Its With A Heavy Heart That We Are Tragically & Painfully Forced To Say Goodbye To One Of Our Own 13yr Old Stanley Davis Jr A Child With A Illuminating Smile & A Beautiful Happy Spirit That Shined Everywhere He Went SJ You Were A Becan Of Joy SJ Will Be Truly Be Missed By All RIP pic.twitter.com/LOPDV2SbZh
— Boynton Beach Bulldogs (@boynton_beach) December 27, 2021
“I’ve not seen any evidence or heard any witness testimony that states that the officer’s vehicle came in contact with the dirt bike operator’s dirt bike,” Police Chief Michael G. Gregory said during a press conference Sunday.
In a statement on Sunday, Boynton Beach PD.said the “preliminary investigation indicates that the dirt bike operator was observed driving recklessly on Boynton Beach Boulevard. Officers attempted a traffic stop, and the dirt bike went down in the 800 block of North Federal Highway.”
Davis’ grandmother blames the Boynton Beach PD for the death of her grandson.
“They chased him, chased him. He just panicked because he’s a kid. Chased him right to his damn grave, and figured he’s just another Black boy, ain’t nothing is going to be done,” said Tina Hunter. “That’s the prejudice of the Boynton Beach police that wave been having problems for all these damn years.”
“Right now, it’s hard. He’s all I had. That’s my only child,” said Davis’ mother, Shannon Thompson. “Right now I’m just trying to be strong.”
“Great kid, honor roll kid, great football player, great big brother, loving son. Just all around perfect kid. Never have an issue with him,” said the boy’s father, Stanley Davis Sr. His son played football for the Boynton Beach Bulldogs.
According to the family, Davis received the dirt bike as a Christmas gift. However, he was not of legal age to ride it in the state of Florida. A dirt bike is considered an “off-highway vehicle” and the operator must be the minimum age of 16, according to state law.
The unnamed officer was placed on administrative leave Sunday amid an investigation led by the Florida Highway Patrol, according to the report. “Based on our preliminary investigation, the officer’s vehicle did not come into contact with the dirt bike,” said an FHP spokesman.
Mayor Steven B. Grant said “the city and the police are responsible” for the boy’s death.
“We should not blame the police department for the actions of an individual officer. However, the city and the police are responsible,” said Mayor Grant.
“You know, the situation that created this, you know, it didn’t happen just yesterday. This is an aspect of how the city has treated parts of the community for decades before I was even mayor. And so the city is trying to understand and work with the community to get a result, resolution so that it is safer for everyone,” Grant said after the crash.