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Attorney Benjamin Crump files complaint with Department of Justice concerning death of Boynton Beach teen

Letter to Attorney General Merrick Garland calls for city, police department to be investigated
Stanley Davis III, teen who died while being pursued by Boynton Beach police on Dec. 26, 2021
Posted at 1:26 PM, Apr 08, 2022
and last updated 2022-04-08 17:16:07-04

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — Attorneys have filed a complaint with the U.S. Department of Justice following the December death of a 13-year-old Boynton Beach boy who died after crashing his dirt bike while fleeing an attempted traffic stop by police.

Stanley Davis III, 13, died Dec. 26 in the 800 block of North Federal Hwy. after his dirt bike crashed while a police officer attempted to pull him over.

The Florida Highway Patrol concluded in March that the teen was driving his dirt bike recklessly at speeds of about 85 mph when he crashed and died.

High-profile civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is among the lawyers representing Davis's family, sent a letter Thursday to Attorney General Merrick Garland calling for an investigation into Officer Mark Sohn, Boynton Beach Police Department and the city.

Sohn was the officer involved in the deadly attempted traffic stop and has a history of reprimands since he was first hired in 2002.

In the last 20 years, there have been more than a dozen reprimands for Sohn.

Stanley Davis III memorial in Boynton Beach, March 1, 2022
Site of a memorial for Stanley Davis III on North Federal Highway in Boynton Beach.

"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," said Crump along with co-counsel Jasmine Rand and Sue-Ann Robinson.

The FHP report found that there was no physical contact between Sohn's vehicle and the child's motorcycle.

The investigation stated that the investigation "is complete, and no charges shall be filed."

The letter sent by Crump and the attorneys to the DOJ states that the Boynton Beach Police Department and the city's police officers have a "pattern and practice and/or custom and policy of conducting high-speed police chases and the use of excessive force."

Police spokeswoman Stephanie Slater said the Boynton Beach Police Department will conduct an internal affairs investigation to determine if any police department policies were violated by any officer involved in the incident.

Read the full letter to the DOJ below: