A Black 12-year-old was killed on Friday (Sept. 10) after a Georgia state trooper’s PIT maneuver caused the car he was riding in to crash. On Monday (Sept. 13), the family of young Leden Boykins called for justice.
According to NBC, a Georgia State Patrol trooper pulled over 35-year-old Charlie Moore for speeding on Friday around 1 a.m. local time. Moore was driving Boykins and his own 14-year-old son home after taking the boys to work with him that night, the slain child’s mother said.
Police claim Moore refused to “lower his driver window or produce any type of identification” after he was pulled over. The trooper, whose identity has not been revealed, then asked for help from a Paulding County sheriff’s deputy, who broke Moore’s car window. Moore, who is also Black, told his son to call 911 and ask for a supervisor during the situation because there were several police cars and he feared for his life, WXIA reports.
Police say Moore then drove away from the trooper, who followed his car down the highway.
“The pursuit continued… at a high rate of speed and the driver was driving recklessly,” police said. “The trooper terminated the chase… by using the Pursuit Immobilization Technique (PIT). [Moore’s] Kia [Sorento] exited the roadway and overturned in a ditch. The rear seat passenger was unrestrained and suffered fatal injuries.”
According to WXIA, Moore and his son were treated for injuries after the crash, while Boykins tragically passed away. Because Boykins died, Moore is now facing a first-degree homicide by vehicle charge and murder in the commission of a felony. He was also charged with DUI, having an open container in a motor vehicle, driving with a suspended license and aggravated assault against a peace officer, police said. The Georgia Department of Public Safety’s Office of Professional Standards is conducting an internal investigation.
Speaking with NBC News on Monday, the boy’s mother Toni Franklin-Boykins said police should have “called off” the chase because there were children in the car.
The boy’s father Anthony Boykins added, “They could put a roadblock up and protect those kids. They couldn’t figure out any other way than to flip that car over?”
Moore and his son are the family’s neighbors, Franklin-Boykins said. On the day of the crash, she and her husband were attending a funeral in Michigan.