The mayor of Boynton, Florida addressed the circumstances surrounding the death of a 13-year-old Florida boy, who died on Sunday after crashing his dirt bike as police tried to pull him over.
On the day of the incident police said the teen, Stanley Davis Jr., was “driving recklessly” on Boynton Beach Boulevard, according to a statement released Sunday.
Police were seen following Davis as he left a gas station on video obtained by WPTV. The teen later collided with a street sign after hitting a curb and was thrown from the bike. He was pronounced dead at the scene.
Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael G. Gregory called the event “devastating and sad” during a Sunday news conference.
Mayor Steven B. Grant went to the scene on Sunday and spoke to family and community members who blame police for Davis’ 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.
Grant added he understands why some believe race played a factor in the Black teen’s death.
“That was my grandson, my only grandson,” said Davis’ grandmother Tina Hunter, WPTV reported. “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.”
Grant admitted this incident is a product of “how the city has treated parts of the city for decades” and said the city is working to find a safer solution. The police officer is on paid leave while the Florida Highway Patrol conducts its investigation.
Davis who participated in the Boynton Beach youth football league The Boynton Beach Bulldogs, is missed by his family, community and teammates.
Contributing: Chelsey Cox
Follow Gabriela Miranda on Twitter: @itsgabbymiranda