A 13-year-old boy riding a dirt bike died on Sunday afternoon during an attempted traffic stop by the Florida police.
The police alleged that the boy was seen “driving recklessly” on Boynton Beach Boulevard, a little before 1 pm. He was identified as Stanley Davis Jr, according to NBC affiliate WPTV.
A surveillance video showed the teen filling his dirt bike at a gas station, and then quickly driving away as police came into the area. The video was accessed by ABC affiliate WPBF.
According to the police, the boy was traveling northbound on US Highway 1 near NE Eighth Avenue when he “failed to maintain control of the vehicle and collided with the median curb”.
“After impact with median curb, the driver was ejected… and collided with a one-way sign that was located in the median.”
The teenager succumbed to the injury caused by the crash and was pronounced dead on the scene, said the police.
Tina Hunter, the grandmother of the teen, alleged that the police chased him because they “figured he’s just another Black boy”.
“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 and ain’t nothing is going to be done. That’s the prejudice of the Boynton Beach police that we’ve been having problems for all these damn years,” she said.
“This kid was loved by the community,” the boy’s uncle, Demetrick Gross, said. “He’s just a fun-going kid. If you knew him before today, brother, I tell you, you would love this kid.”
Boynton Beach Police chief Michael G Gregory, meanwhile, said on Sunday: “I can’t say how difficult it is to think of a loss of someone as young as 13 years old with such a bright future ahead of them. I know that our community is upset. I know there is a lot of emotion.”
“Our hearts go out to the family members of this young person, and they can trust that we and our law enforcement partners will be conducting a series of thorough and meticulous investigations into the circumstances of what occurred,” he added.
“That family is devastated & grieving ... our community is devastated & grieving ... there’s nothing to make that pain any less. What we hope to do is the best we can conducting a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the facts & circumstances that led to it.”
The police chief said that their preliminary investigation did not lead them to any evidence or witness testimony to conclude that “the officer’s vehicle came in contact with the dirt bike”.
The police department said that the officer involved will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation. It added that Florida Highway Patrol will lead the probe in reference to the incident.
The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office will also look into the manner of death, said Mr Gregory.