A 13-year-old boy on a dirt bike died Sunday afternoon after he crashed as police in Florida tried to pull him over, authorities said.
Police saw the teen “driving recklessly” on Boynton Beach Boulevard, according to a statement from the Boynton Beach Police Department.
The teen crashed the bike in the 800 block of North Federal Highway while officers attempted a traffic stop, police said.
“I can’t say how difficult it is to think of a loss of someone as young as 13 years old with such a bright future ahead of them,” Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael G. Gregory said Sunday during a news conference. “I know that our community is upset. I know there is a lot of emotion.”
Gregory promised a “thorough and conclusive investigation into what took place.”
Police reiterated that much in their statement about the teen’s death: “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.”
The probe into the attempted traffic stop will be led by the Florida Highway Patrol, Gregory said. The Palm Beach County Medical Examiner’s Office will also investigate the child’s cause and manner of death, Gregory said.
No one with the medical examiner’s office could be immediately reached Monday for comment.
Once the investigations conclude, Gregory said, his department will conduct an internal investigation to determine if any policy violations or procedures occurred. The officer involved in the attempted traffic stop has been placed on administrative leave, Gregory said. It was unclear Monday afternoon if the leave was paid.
Gregory said he met with the child’s family and offered them condolences.
The incident has also prompted rumors, Gregory said, including that the patrol vehicle came into contact with the dirt bike or that there were secondary crashes.
“But we’ve seen no evidence to substantiate those rumors flying around,” Gregory said.
While police have not released the name of the dead teenager, NBC affiliate WPTV of West Palm Beach identified the child as Stanley Davis Jr.
Tina Hunter told the news station that she is the teenager’s grandmother.
“That was my grandson, my only grandson,” she said. “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.”