FORESTVILLE – The mother of a 17-year-old Temple Hills boy who died last week when a Prince George’s County police officer pursued him on a dirt bike plans on suing the police department for wrongful death. Amir Brooks died at a local hospital Aug. 6 after crashing into the curb on a green Kawasaki motorcycle […]
FORESTVILLE – The mother of a 17-year-old Temple Hills boy who died last week when a Prince George’s County police officer pursued him on a dirt bike plans on suing the police department for wrongful death.
Amir Brooks died at a local hospital Aug. 6 after crashing into the curb on a green Kawasaki motorcycle in the 3500 block of Alabama Avenue, SE, in Washington, D.C.
A Prince George’s County police officer, an eight-year veteran of the force who has not yet been identified, pursued Brooks and his cousin from the Fox Club Apartments and into D.C., according to Prince George’s County Police.
While a lawsuit has not been filed, it is coming, said Brooks family attorney Jim Bell.
“I am going to sue. That’s very simple,” Bell said. “This is going to send a strong message that what happened should never happen, and the life of this young man had value.”
Amir’s mother, Pamela Brooks, is seeking wrongful death lawsuits against not only the Prince George’s County Police Department, but the officer involved and Fox Club Apartments.
Prince George’s County Police would not release the name of the officer involved but confirmed an officer had pursued Amir and his cousin up until the fatal accident.
At around 2:15 p.m. on Aug. 4, a Prince George’s County Police officer saw Amir operating a dirt bike in the 1900 block of Brooks Drive, said Harry Bond, a spokesman for the county police department.
The officer began to pursue the dirt bike after trying to confirm whether the bike was connected to an armed robbery, Bond said.
Bell said the officer was off-duty and had been working as a part-time security guard at the apartment complex.
“This was a patrol officer who has no business trying to investigate a robbery because that’s not his job or his responsibility,” Bell said.
Amir arrived at the hospital in critical condition, according to the Metropolitan Police Department, and he died several hours later when his organs failed. His cousin, though injured, was released from the hospital.
“I think it could have been prevented,” said Tanya Brooks, Amir’s aunt. “[The police] took it too far.”
County police said Amir and his cousin were operating the dirt bike illegally, which is punishable by a citation. Neither Amir nor his cousin were wearing helmets at the time of the accident, said his godmother, Lashawn Marks.
Not wearing a motorcycle helmet is illegal and is punishable by a civil fine, according to Maryland Code Section 21-1306. Off-road, operators of dirt bikes are not obligated by law to wear helmets.
Online condolences and prayers poured in through a GoFundMe page created by Pamela Brooks to raise money for the funeral costs.
The family held a tribute on Aug. 6 and a candlelight vigil Aug. 9 at Fox Club Apartments in remembrance.
Drivers did wheelies and tricks on bikes, motorcycles and four-wheelers to celebrate Amir’s love of the vehicles.
Nearly 100 people attended the candlelight vigil, where family and community members wore white shirts and remembered Amir as a soft-spoken 17-year-old who loved to play the drums and ride motorcycles and dirt bikes.
“He was a nice, quiet, shy boy,” Tanya said. “He was a good person. You see how many people are out here – he was loved.”
“He was a good kid, you know,” Marks said. “He was on the right track. He was your typical teenage boy.”
Marks said she wants to see changes in the police department to protect more lives.
“I wish the county would put these police officers under more rigorous training,” she said. “My godson lost his life.”
Bell, who attended the vigil, said he is confident moving forward with the lawsuit.
“[The police] need to understand that we no longer, in this community, will allow young black men to be treated like animals — like their lives have no value. They (the police) can run but they can’t hide. When you hit someone in their pocket, you change their behavior…That is the only way to make them change.”