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Family of Stanley Davis III renew call for Boynton Beach police officer to be fired

Teen died after attempted traffic stop by Officer Mark Sohn
Posted at 11:40 PM, Mar 11, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-11 23:44:30-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The family of Stanley Davis III is renewing their call for the Boynton Beach Police Department to fire one of their own, immediately. It's all tied to the late December dirt bike crash of the 13-year-old after an attempted traffic stop by Officer Mark Sohn.

Attorneys, family, friends and community activists rallied outside police headquarters Friday.

"We picked this day specifically, March 11, because we understand that it was 20 years ago that this police officer was hired here as a police officer and for 20 years, based on a lot of evidence from this community, has terrorized Black people," family attorney Ben Crump said.

A review of Sohn's personnel record shows a history of reprimands. In 2004, the department suspended Sohn for 57 hours for violating at least 12 different rules and policies in a vehicle pursuit.

Since then, he has been disciplined two other times for unsatisfactory performance in a vehicle pursuit.

"He has a rap sheet that shows it. He's abusing the community and he has to go," family attorney Sue-Anne Robinson said. "He has to go today."

Despite the violations, Sohn was also nominated for officer of the month and in 2016 was given a police duty medal.

His actions on the day of Davis' December crash near Federal Highway and Boynton Beach Boulevard remain under investigation by the Florida Highway Patrol.

Stanley Davis III, teen who died while being pursued by Boynton Beach police on Dec. 26, 2021
Stanley Davis III died a day after Christmas after crashing a dirt bike during the police pursuit.

"Why do you chase that kid?" Crump said. "What is it about our children that you feel they are so dangerous that you got to use excessive force to detain them."

The teen's mother, Shannon Thompson, said her son's death is "like a nightmare that I'm not waking up from, unfortunately."

She said she's still on a desperate search for answers and demanding Sohn be held accountable for her son's death.

"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 said. "That's what replays in the back of my head and knowing that's all I had. I have nothing."

WPTV contacted the Boynton Beach Police Department on Friday for an update on the investigation and the agency released the following statement:

The Florida Highway Patrol still has an open investigation into this accident. In addition, the attorneys for the young man’s family have advised the city that they intend to file a lawsuit against the city concerning this accident. Pursuant to the advice from the attorney retained by the city and its insurer, no further comment will be made until the investigation concerning this accident is completed.