A Georgia family wants answers after their 12-year-old son was killed by police on Friday during a high-speed chase that turned deadly on Highway 92 in Paulding County.
Leden Boykins, 12, was in the car with a neighbor and his 14-year-old son getting a ride home when police pulled the driver over for speeding. The driver fled the scene with Leden and the other child in the vehicle. Police pursued the car, which lead the high-speed chase down Highway 92.
The driver called 911 telling the dispatcher he was scared, he feared for his life, and that he had kids in his car, but he refused to pull over.
He continued to plead with the dispatcher for help. “I am afraid. I’m afraid for my life,” He said.
“They need to get them off of me, right now,” the driver said, “because I’m scared, I’ve got my kids with me, right now.”
Troopers then forced the car off the road using a PIT maneuver, causing the vehicle to spin out of control and flip over. Leden Boykins was killed instantly.
In a statement to 11 Alive, Boykins’ parents say the driver, should have never put those young children in that situation and deserves to be held responsible for his actions, but also want to know why police felt the need to flip a car with two young children inside.
According to Georgia law, police are required to evaluate all variables before performing a PIT maneuver. This also includes the safety of any children nearby during the incident.
A PIT maneuver is a technique used by law enforcement to force a fleeing vehicle to abruptly turn 180 degrees, causing the driver to lose control of the vehicle and stop. The technique can have unpredictable results and often lead to vehicles overturning. According to the Washington Post, 30 people have died from PIT maneuvers since 2016, and hundreds have been injured, including some police officers.
Georgia authorities arrested and charged the driver with murder and DUI.
An investigation into the officers who used the PIT maneuver is ongoing and Boykins’ parents hope everyone involved in his tragic death is held accountable.