Black South Florida Teen Killed In Dirt Bike Crash During Attempted Traffic Stop By Cops
Police accused the 13-year-old of driving recklessly on a public street.
December 30, 2021 at 2:38 pm
A teen from Boynton Beach, Florida, was killed on Sunday after crashing his dirt bike as a police officer tried to pull him over.
In a statement released on Sunday, police said that Stanley "SJ" Davis III, 13, was "driving recklessly" while riding his bike on Boynton Beach Boulevard.
Florida Law classifies a dirt bike as an "off-highway vehicle," and requires the driver to be at least 16 years old.
The surveillance video acquired by ABC News appears to show the young teen minutes before his fatal crash. Davis is seen filling up his gas tank at Chevron gas station. When he leaves, a Boynton Beach Police vehicle starts to follow him. The teen later plowed into a street sign after slamming into a curb, causing him to be tossed from his bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene of the accident.
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
"He could have questioned him in a safe space when he parked to get gas. You waited and chased him until you chased him to his death," Tina Hunter, the young teen's grieving grandmother, said, ABC News reports.
"That was my grandson, my only 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 and ain't nothing is going to be done. That's the prejudice," Hunter said, according to WPTV.
Shannon Thompson, Davis' mother, said the young teen just turned 13 on Dec. 5 and enjoyed playing football.
"Right now, it's hard. He's all I had. That's my only child. Right now, I'm just trying to be strong," Thompson told ABC News.
Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory acknowledged that the tragic event was "devastating and sad" during a news conference held on Sunday.
"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," Gregory said at the press conference.
Mayor Steven Grant spoke with Davis' family and community members.
"My statement to them was we should not blame the police department for the actions of an individual officer; however, the city and police are responsible," Grant said in an interview with CBS12 News on Monday.
Grant said he understands, in light of how Black people have historically been treated in the city, why many in the community believe that race played a significant factor in the teen's death. He agreed that the incident is a reflection of "how the city has treated parts of the city for decades," and he said he is committed to finding safer solutions for the city and its residents.
The police officer that was involved has been placed on paid administrative leave as the Florida Highway Patrol conducts an investigation.