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Family, attorneys of teen killed in dirt bike crash want Boynton Beach officer fired

Attorneys outline Officer Mark Sohn's disciplinary history
Stanley Davis III hold news conference in Fort Lauderdale, March 1, 2022
Stanley Davis III, teen who died while being pursued by Boynton Beach police on Dec. 26, 2021
Posted at 8:34 AM, Mar 01, 2022
and last updated 2022-03-01 18:02:38-05

BOYNTON BEACH, Fla. — The family of a Boynton Beach teenager who died after an attempted traffic stop late last year is calling on the officer involved in the case to be immediately fired.

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

The family's attorney, Ben Crump, claims Officer Mark Sohn struck and killed the boy, but police claim the teen lost control of the bike and crashed during the pursuit.

RELATED: Boynton Beach officer investigated in teen's death has history of reprimands

The child's family and their attorneys held a Tuesday morning news conference in Fort Lauderdale to call for Sohn's firing because of what they called a "documented history of violent acts."

WATCH: Attorneys hold news conference calling for officer's firing

Family of teen killed in dirt bike crash wants officer fired

"I can say without reservation, this is one of the worst files that I've ever seen on an officer," said attorney Jasmine Rand. "[This is] one of the worst documented histories of police brutality, of racism, that has caused the death of three Black citizens in Boynton Beach."

Sohn remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of the investigation.

"At this point, in the preliminary investigation, I am not seeing any evidence or heard any witnesses testimony that states that the officer's vehicle came in contact with the dirt bike," Boynton Beach Police Chief Michael Gregory said.

RELATED: Benjamin Crump's legal team filing lawsuit against Boynton Beach PD

Surveillance video obtained by WPTV showed Davis fueling up his red and white dirt bike at the Boynton Beach Chevron gas station shortly before the crash.

As Davis pulled out of the gas station, a Boynton Beach police SUV could be seen following him.

Attorneys at Tuesday's news conference laid out almost two dozen incidents involving Sohn over his 20-year career.

They claim the officer was suspended multiple times for violating policy during other vehicular pursuits. Two of those incidents resulted in deaths, including a 38-year-old Black man in 2012 and a 5-year-old Black boy in 2016.

"[Sohn] has the blood of Cyrus Deal on his hands, who died during a high-speed police pursuit," Rand said. "He has the blood of Jayden Reardon on his hands, a 5-year-old child that was also killed, and a victim, when [the officer] was conducting another high-speed police pursuit."

Attorneys also said there is an active case against Sohn involving the beating of a Black man who was restrained.

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.

The Boynton Beach Police Department's pursuit policy states there must be an immediate danger to the officer or public, more so than the danger of the pursuit, and a pursuit must only happen if an officer believes a forcible felony has been committed, like an armed robbery or a murder.

"My son was only going to get gas. ... He was acting in fear as a community feared this officer," said the boy's mother, Shannon Thompson. "The kids, they know this officer, so him coming in contact with this particular officer was a fearful moment for him."

Attorney said Tuesday that they have been unable to obtain any other video of the incident. Boynton Beach police said there is no dash camera video from the officer's vehicle.

"It's a problem in Black communities, and so throughout the country, we see a historic pattern and practice of police officers conducting high-speed police chases that lead to the death of African Americans," Rand said.

The Florida Highway Patrol is investigating the case.

Crump and family members of the victim held a news conference in January to announce they were filing a wrongful death lawsuit in the case.

Anyone with information about the crash is encouraged to call police at 561-732-8116 or submit video evidence via so that it can also be provided to FHP.

Boynton Beach City Manager Lori LaVerriere released the following statement Tuesday on the case:

"As City Manager, I stand firm in my commitment to a thorough, fair and objective investigation into the events of Dec. 26, 2021. The Police Department turned this case over to the Florida Highway Patrol (FHP) on Dec. 26, 2021 so that it would be handled by an impartial third party. FHP's criminal traffic homicide investigation is currently in progress. I will continue to explore and implement all means of expediting the review of this matter and bringing it to a fair and just conclusion.

In addition, following a news conference held this morning by the Law Firm of Ben Crump, the Boynton Beach Police Department received numerous inquiries from the media for clarification on the status of the officer involved in the Dec. 26, 2021 incident. The Boynton Beach Police Department reiterated that the officer was relieved of duty on Dec. 26, 2021, and the officer remains in that status on administrative leave. While in this status, the officer is not authorized to take any police action. The media also inquired about the existence of a dashboard camera in the vehicle involved in the Dec. 26, 2021 incident. The Boynton Beach Police Department reiterated that the vehicle involved was not equipped with a dashboard camera."