Demonstrators outside police headquarters in Boynton Beach, Florida, Tuesday night called for the firing of the officer involved in the CBS West Palm Beach affiliate WPEC-TV reports. They also pressed for transparency from the department about what happened during the incident.of a 13-year old boy on a dirt bike during an attempted traffic stop Sunday,
Police say the boy was driving the dirt bike recklessly when he “went down” on North Federal Highway. The officer is on paid leave while the Florida Highway Patrol investigates.
Video WPEC obtained shows the boy, Stanley Davis Jr., also known as “SJ,” pulling up at a Chevron gas station shortly before the incident. He goes inside to pay, wearing his helmet. Then he rides away and a police vehicle follows him down the street.
Davis rides out of frame, then circles back, with the police vehicle close behind.
About three blocks later, Davis was dead.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol incident report, Davis was riding northbound on U.S. Highway 1 when he lost control of his dirt bike and hit the curb of the median. The impact sent him into a one-way sign on the median before he landed in the road.
The Boynton Beach Police Department said the police vehicle involved didn’t have a dashcam.
“At this point in the preliminary investigation, I have not seen any evidence or heard any witness testimony that states the officer’s vehicle came in contact with the dirt bike,” Police Chief Michael G. Gregory said at a briefing Sunday.
The department’s pursuit policy states that an officer can only chase a suspect if they believe the person committed a forcible felony. Whether the officer violated department policy in this incident is still under investigation, WPEC reported.
The protesters were chanting “Justice for SJ,” the station says.
Stanley’s fellow bike riders say this tragic incident could have been avoided if there was a place in the city for teens to ride their bikes safely.
“We have been begging for somewhere to ride for years now, we used to go two to three hours away just to ride,” said Tyra Simmons, a family friend and fellow rider, told WPEC.
on Sunday and spoke with community members who were both sad and angry about the boy’s death.
“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 Monday in an interview with WPEC.
Davis was Black, and given the city’s history, the mayor said he understands why some believe race played a role in this tragedy.
“The situation that created this didn’t happen just yesterday; this is an aspect of how the city has treated parts of the city for decades, even before I was mayor. So the city is trying to work with the community to get a resolution so that it’s safer for everyone,” Grant said.