Leden Boykins was killed by a maneuver a state trooper used to flip a speeding car in which the boy rode. The driver has been charged.
A young boy was killed in Georgia after the car he rode in was flipped by a maneuver a state trooper used while trying to stop the speeding vehicle.
Leden Boykins was a passenger in a car driven by someone suspected of operating under the influence of alcohol when the trooper executed what is called a Pursuit Immobilization Technique — or PIT — maneuver. In it, a police vehicle clips the rear of the car in pursuit to make the vehicle spin out.
The 12-year-old was accompanying a neighbor, and his grieving family believes the trooper could have done more to save the youngster’s life.
The boy was staying with his grandmother in Paulding County, Georgia while his parents were out of town attending a funeral. His grandmother had given Leden permission to ride with the neighbor and his young son to the man’s job.
On the way home, troopers say the driver was pulled over for speeding and failed to produce his driver’s license and instead, he drove off. They noted the man was “driving recklessly” for 3.5 miles.
However, the family claims troopers knew there were children in the car.
“What I do know is, when you see those kids, your decision-making process is supposed to kick in,” Anthony Boykins, the boy’s father, said. “But couldn’t they put a roadblock up and protect those kids? They couldn’t figure out any other way than to flip that car over?”
In a report from 11Alive, the family said their son’s body was released for an autopsy without their permission and that they don’t currently know its location or when it will be returned to them. The coroner told the news outlet they informed the family of the autopsy.
Young Leden’s mother, Toni Franklin-Boykins, told NBC News her son was “robbed of his life,” calling the use of the PIT maneuver “a very bad decision on their part.”
The neighbor driving the car, Charlie Moore, now faces a list of charges, including murder during the commission of a felony, first-degree homicide by vehicle and aggravated assault against a peace officer. He was also was charged with DUI, having an open container in a motor vehicle and driving on a suspended license.
Georgia State Troopers are investigating if the participating trooper will face any legal action.
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