Douglasville, Ga. – The Douglasville family is planning the funeral of a 12-year-old child who died in an accident after performing a PIT maneuver they said was necessary to stop the car he was traveling in from speeding.
The Boykins said they were dismayed by the events that led to the death of their son, Leyden, as much as they were distraught by what they said did not happen in the days immediately after.
“He was athletic, energetic, outspoken, outspoken,” Anthony Boykins said of his son.
But no matter how many ways the family spoke about Leyden, they said they would remember what and how much he loved the most.
“He’d say ‘I love you more, more,’ until I couldn’t go on anymore,” said his grandmother, Patricia Williams. “He used to call me everyday.”
Family members say he did this on Friday from the back seat of his friend’s parents’ car.
“They said, ‘Grandma, we’re going to our house.’ They never made it home,” said Zenobia Waters, the family’s lawyer.
The Georgia State Patrol said they pulled over the car for speeding on Bethel Church Road in Paulding County around 1 a.m. Friday. Charles Moore was behind the wheel. They said he didn’t lower his window, the soldiers tried to open it, and Moore left.
The more than eight-minute-long recording of the 911 call documents the moments before the tragedy.
During the chase, an operator told Moore, “The officers are telling me to tell you to retreat, if you don’t, they’ll kill you.”
Leyden’s father said, “I wish he’d pulled over, but that doesn’t give them the right to overturn that car knowing there were kids in it.”
“He’s on a dark street, two little kids, trying to get home and the police are on the offensive, a black man with two little black boys,” Waters said.
Moore can be heard saying in the recording, “I have my kids man.”
“I’ve already told them there are kids in the car… they’re trying to turn me over, man,” he continues.
Leiden died in an accident when soldiers used a tactic commonly called the Pitt maneuver to stop the chase.
Leyden’s parents, who were out of town at the time, said they were not allowed to see his body until several days after the accident.
The GSP policy requires soldiers to consider a number of factors before taking such a step, including whether children are in the car.
Boykins said it was clear there were children in the car and believed Leiden would be alive today if the soldiers had not performed the PIT maneuver.
Officials said that the jawans are being screened, which is the protocol.
The family said they were also concerned about who identified Leyden’s body. He said he didn’t and that by the time they saw him an autopsy had already been done. Charles Moore faces a long list of charges including a DUI, an open container in a motor vehicle, and driving with a suspended license.
Officers also noted that he is wanted on various charges from the Henry County Sheriff’s Office and the Covington Police Department.
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