Mayor Speaks About Teen's Death in Dirt-Bike Crash

Family says police in Boynton Beach, Fla., 'chased' Stanley Davis Jr. 'right to his damn grave'
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 28, 2021 9:20 AM CST
Updated Dec 29, 2021 1:22 PM CST
Family of Teen Killed on Dirt Bike Wants Answers From Fla. Cops
Stock photo.   (Getty Images/boggy22)

Update: The mayor of Boynton, Florida, has weighed in on the Sunday death of a 13-year-old boy there. Mayor Steven B. Grant on Monday shared what he conveyed to Stanley Davis Jr.'s family with CBS12. It quotes him as saying, "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." He also addressed accusations that race played a factor, saying, "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." Our original story from Monday follows:

Authorities in Boynton Beach, Fla., are calling the death of a young Black teen over the weekend "devastating" after the boy crashed into a street sign while riding his dirt bike. But family members of Stanley Davis Jr. are outraged, saying the only reason Stanley is dead is because police were pursuing him in the first place. Police say the 13-year-old was seen Sunday around 1pm riding "recklessly" on his red-and-white bike, prompting cops to "[attempt] a traffic stop." That's when the Florida Highway Patrol says Stanley apparently lost control of his bike, hit a curb, got thrown from the bike, and smashed into a street sign, reports WPTV.

Stanley, who was wearing a helmet, was pronounced dead at the scene. Surveillance video released by the news outlet shows Stanley filling up at a nearby gas station shortly before the crash; as he drives away, a Boynton Beach police SUV can be seen pulling out after him. At a Sunday presser, Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael G. Gregory called what happened "devastating and sad," noting, "There's nothing to make that pain less," per USA Today. Family members, however, are furious about what they say was an unnecessary death. "They chased him," Tina Hunter tells WPTV of the incident involving her only grandson. "Chased him right to his damn grave and figured he's just another Black boy and ain't nothing is going to be done."

Demetrick Gross, who says he's Stanley's uncle, tells WPBF he actually saw the police vehicle in pursuit of his nephew, noting, "I witnessed it with my own eyes." That outlet notes police are calling the incident an "officer-involved traffic homicide." Both the Boynton Beach Police Department and Florida Highway Patrol say they're investigating, as will the Palm Beach County Medical Examiner Office on the cause and manner of death. Gregory says after those probes are wrapped up, internal affairs will decide if there were any policy violations during the incident. The officer who followed Stanley in his patrol car will be placed on administrative leave until the investigations are complete. The police department says the vehicle wasn't equipped with a dashcam. (Read more Florida stories.)

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