Crooked cops and their reckless high-speed chases are as big of a threat to innocent bystanders as their trigger-happy counterparts.
ABC News reports a grieving family in Boynton Beach, Florida, is demanding accountability for the officer they claim is responsible for the tragic death of 13-year-old Stanley “SJ” Davis III. The day after the boy received a dirt bike as a Christmas gift last year, Officer Mark Sohn pursued him in a high-speed chase, leading the boy to crash fatally.
According to Davis’ grandmother, Tina Hunter, he was testing out his new present when the officer tried to pull SJ over. It’s a shame that a child SJ’s age had reason to fear or even flee an interaction with the cops. Much like the tragic police killings of 13-year-olds like Adam Toledo and Tamir Rice, the officer who endangered the public and led to SJ’s death was conveniently cleared of all wrongdoing.
Florida Highway Patrol wrote in a report released on March 31 that the “investigation is complete, and no charges shall be filed because the at-fault person expired as a result of the crash.” The report indicated that SJ was traveling at 85 mph and did not make contact with Sohn’s vehicle before the crash, blaming only the boy for his own death.
However, civil rights attorney Ben Crump is demanding a federal investigation into how the officer broke police procedure by initiating the traffic stop and an alleged pattern of similar misconduct in fatal high-speed chases with Black drivers.
“Stanley Davis was unlawfully chased in a reckless, high speed, and ultimately fatal pursuit by Officer Sohn. The City of Boynton Beach Police Department’s pursuit policy states, ‘A police chase is to be initiated only if the person fleeing has committed a forcible felony such as a murder, manslaughter, sexual battery, carjacking, home-invasion robbery, arson or kidnapping.’ A 13-year-old boy playing with his new Christmas present lies far outside of these parameters,” Crump wrote in a statement on Friday.
“Mark Sohn has a clear pattern of deadly police chases against Black citizens. He caused the death of two other innocent Black people by conducting high-speed police chases, including five-year-old Jayden Reardon in 2016 and thirty-eight-year-old Cyrus Deal in 2012.
In both previous cases of criminally negligent deaths caused by Sohn, he got to keep his job after getting away with murder. Boynton Beach Police Department didn’t even punish the corrupt cop for lying to cover up the policies and laws he broke while chasing Deal to his death.
According to Crump, Boynton Beach Police Department’s 2016 investigation into Sohn determined “he lied about pursuing Cyrus Deal, that he engaged in an unlawful high-speed pursuit, and he had no justifiable cause for the pursuit. Despite killing three Black citizens during high-speed police chases, Boynton Beach Police Department has not fired Mark Sohn.”
The 7th-grader’s parents, Stanley Davis, Jr. and Shannon Thompson, are still calling for the officer’s termination and for city officials to hold the cops involved accountable.
Thompson said the the death of her only son was, “like a nightmare that I’m not waking up from, unfortunately. Nobody can give me answers as to why I had to watch my son lie in a pool of blood right before my eyes,” she told WPTV. “That’s what replays in the back of my head and knowing that’s all I had. I have nothing.”
While the Boynton Beach Police Department conducts an internal affairs investigation into whether the 20-year veteran violated police procedure in a deadly crash once again, Davis’ family is planning to sue the city.
Our condolences got out to SJ’s family and loved ones.
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