DOUGLASVILLE, Ga. (CBS46) -- A Douglasville community said goodbye to a 12-year-old Wednesday, who died during a police pursuit. The victim's family says Georgia State Patrol should not have used a controversial tactic called a PIT maneuver.
"Keep us away from accidents, surround us with positive energy, joy and opportunity," Anthony Boykins prayed in an afternoon gathering for his son, Leden Boykins. The community released balloons but held onto hope, as the Boykins family tries to figure out what happened on Sept. 10.
Paulding County deputies arrested Charlie Moore and blame him for the death of the 12-year-old. But Leden's family believes GSP bears some blame. Charlie Moore faces more than 30 charges related to the police pursuit, traffic violations, and the death of Leden.
Family friend Chelseay Mills spoke on the family's behalf. "We'll make sure Leden gets the proper justice." Adding, "at just 12, he was awesome. Everything he wanted to do, he did it and he was the best at it."
State troopers requested Paulding deputies to help with the traffic stop of Charlie Moore on Friday morning, Sept. 10. They claim he was under the influence of alcohol, would not comply, then took off as Leden and another child remain inside.
CBS46 has been told Moore was a neighbor of Leden, not a relative.
Troopers performed a PIT, the car crashed and Leden died. GSP confirms aid was rendered to all occupants at the time of the crash.
But loved ones say PIT maneuvers should not be done when children are inside of cars. Investigators have long defended the controversial tactic, calling it beneficial when fleeing drivers are a risk to others on the road.
CBS46 found earlier this year, Georgia agencies were using them more often. Police say when done properly it saves lives.
In this case, it did not save Leden's.
"[We will] make sure everyone is held accountable." Mills continued, "Leden will live on forever in our hearts."
GSP says the agency is still investigating. CBS46 asked how the agency weighs the risk when using this tactic, we are still waiting on a response. The Boykins have hired attorneys.