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A 13-year-old Black boy who police said was “driving recklessly” died Sunday after he crashed his dirt bike when a Florida officer attempted to pull him over, NBC News reported and authorities confirmed. Family of the Boynton Beach teen identified him as Stanley Davis Jr. in an interview with NBC affiliate, WPTV.
“That was my grandson, my only grandson,” Tina Hunter told the news station. “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.”
Although police have not confirmed a chase, surveillance video obtained by WPTV showed the teen getting gas at the Boynton Chevron gas station just before the crash. A police SUV can be seen trailing Stanley as he rode out of the gas station.
— WPEC CBS12 News (@CBS12) December 27, 2021
The Boynton Beach Police Department wrote in its news release on Sunday:
It is with great sadness that we announce the death of a young person who was operating a dirt bike this afternoon.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.“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,” Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael G. Gregory said.The officer involved will be placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigations, per department policy.We will be able to provide updated information about the dirt bike operator once we have confirmed proper notification of next of kin.We ask that anyone with information call us at 561-732-8116 or submit information via our website, www.bbpd.org.
BOYNTON BEACH: Hundreds come together for candlelight vigil and balloon release to remember 13-year-old Stanley Davis, Jr. The young football player is being remembered as “a child with an illuminating smile and a beautiful happy spirit that shined everywhere he went” #wptv #wflx pic.twitter.com/HhAq5TJ1iU
— Linnie Supall WPTV (@LinnieSupall) December 28, 2021
Chief Gregory, a Black man, said during a news conference after meeting with the child’s family that the family and community are “devastated and grieving.”
“There’s nothing to make that pain any less. What we hope to do is do the best we can conducting a thorough investigation to get to the bottom of the facts and circumstances that led to it,” Gregory said.
Gregory said the department has asked the Florida Highway Patrol to take over the investigation to ensure objectivity. “They will be in charge of it,” the chief said. “They will be collecting the evidence, conducting the interviews, and it will be their investigation. We will get the outcome of that investigation.”
He also said the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s office will be conducting a separate investigation looking into the cause and manner of Stanley’s death. An internal affairs investigation into any policy or procedural violations will follow.
“Again, can’t say how difficult it is to think of the loss of someone as young as 13 years old with such a bright future ahead of him,” Gregory said. “And I know that our community is upset. I know that there is a lot of emotion, and in some cases, there is some false narratives and false information that’s floating around, so it’s incumbent upon us to make sure that we share what we can.”
— Michael Harriot (@michaelharriot) December 27, 2021
Gregory said there’s no evidence that the officer’s SUV made contact with Stanley’s dirt bike or that there was a secondary crash in the incident. He explained that they won’t be able to share everything while authorities are looking into the matter, but he promised a “fair” and “impartial” investigation.
“I can’t begin to describe to you the pain that the family members are going through tonight,” Gregory said. “It was difficult to have that conversation with them, but it was necessary.”
Boynton Beach is a city about 15 miles south of West Palm Beach with a population that is about 30% Black and 63% white. Last June, one city worker was fired and the fire chief was asked to resign when the faces of two former fire chiefs were replaced with that of white people in a fire station art mural. Retired Deputy Chief Latosha Clemons, who was the city’s first Black female firefighter, and retired Chief Glenn Joseph, a Black man, were replaced in the mural. Clemons sued the city for $100,000 in damages in April, according to The Washington Post.
“I was like, ‘Wow, why did this happen?’” Clemons said at a news conference. “I was hurt. I was disappointed. And then I was outraged.”
Latosha Clemons is the FIRST Black female deputy fire chief & ONLY Black female firefighter in Boynton Beach. Despite this, the mural’s creator WHITEWASHED her. Join me in thanking Latosha for risking her life to protect others. Let’s give her the honor & respect she deserves 👏🏾 pic.twitter.com/CYnbkMHWwe
— Ben Crump (@AttorneyCrump) July 2, 2020
This content was originally published here.