NORTHWEST MIAMI-DADE, FLA. (WSVN) – A grieving community came together to pay tribute to a student athlete who died in police custody after a police chase that began in Hollywood and ended in a crash in northwest Miami-Dade.
News cameras captured friends and family who gathered at the crash site Saturday night to remember 16-year-old Christopher Walls.
Mourners released balloons during the gloomy memorial.
“We love you, Chris,” they said.
The chain of events leading to the death of Walls began with a car theft at a gas station on the corner of North 34th Avenue and Sheridan Streets early Monday morning, according to Hollywood Police.
Investigators said the chase ended when Walls crashed the vehicle on Northwest 27th Avenue and 62nd Street in northwest Miami-Dade.
Miami-Dade fire departments responded and medics treated Walls at the scene before police arrested him.
A blurry cell phone video recorded by a witness picks up the sound of a person saying someone was beaten, but the quality of the clip makes it difficult to tell what was going on.
“You hit his [expletive]“, Someone can be heard in the video.
According to police, Walls lost consciousness and was taken to Hialeah Hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Back at the memorial, Walls’ family mourned the sudden loss.
“Just one kid who was robbed so young – a great athlete, loved his family, loved his siblings,” said Fatima Seymor, Walls’ cousin.
Walls was the oldest of five boys. His family describes the Hallandale High School student as an outstanding representative of the football team.
“We didn’t have our justice. We didn’t have our day to talk all sides and that was taken from us, “said Seymor,” and it’s just so sad and unfortunate, and our family is irrevocably broken. “
Seymor said the entire family was watching the live Facebook video and is awaiting responses from the coroner’s office.
“Again, he’s a kid. That’s the biggest pain: the fact that he was a kid and didn’t have his righteous day, ”she said.
The Florida Department of Law Enforcement is investigating further.
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