ST. LOUIS COUNTY, Mo. – The 12 -year-old girl who was struck by a St. Louis County police car last month as she crossed the street has died.
The St. Louis County branch of the NACCP and the Ethical Society of Police are calling for an investigation into the deadly incident and are questioning why the officer was chasing a car without its lights or sirens on.
“It was a warrant and the police car that caused an untimely death of a 12-year-old child was an irresponsible decision,” said John Bowman, president of the St. Louis County NAACP.
The St. Louis County Police Department issued a brief statement, calling the news of Akeelah Jackson's death heartbreaking and said she and her family would be in their thoughts and prayers.
Family members said Jackson was a straight-A student at Carr Lane Visual and Performing Arts Middle School. Community leaders said this tragedy never should have happened.
“It’s unfortunate that the actions of the police officer that day caused this deadly accident and now what is in question is did he follow procedures and we understand he did not have his lights or siren on, which would have given no one an opportunity to get out of the way,” said Rev. Phillip Duvall, spokesperson for the Ethical Society of Police.
An attorney for Jackson's family said the family is grieving the tragic death of Akeelah and asks that you respect their privacy as they process the loss of her innocent life following the horrific incident.
St. Louis County police said Jackson darted in front of the speeding county police car on Halls Ferry Road.
County police said the officer did not activate his lights and sirens but was in pursuit of a vehicle with questionable registration.
Investigators said the police vehicle has a data recording device that determined the pursuit lasted 32 seconds and reached a maximum speed of 59 miles per hour in a 30 mile per hour zone.
“What was so important that you would chase somebody for a warrant at 35 miles above the speed limit in a residential area and you can see it ended in the worst way,” Bowman said.
The St. Louis County Police Department said the investigation is ongoing.
Meanwhile, the 25-year-old officer remains a member of the county police department, where he has been on the force for four years.