The family of a 16-year-old bicyclist struck and killed by a speeding car on Sunday night isn't fully buying the sheriff's department's version of the story.
Officers said they weren't chasing a Hyundai Sonata as it sped away from their unmarked car Sunday night and ultimately struck Kenyatta Brack while he rode his bike. The impact tossed the teen into the air and into the path of another car going the opposite direction.
"I thought the law had passed where police chases were supposed to have been stopped," said the boy's aunt, Sedell Brown. "What are you doing down a residential street, chasing a kid, when all they had to do was get the license plate, then get the kid."
But the sheriff's office stresses the officers never drove faster than 35 mph and were following the car from a distance when it collided with the boy.
Officers in the unmarked squad were traveling eastbound on the Bishop Ford when they noticed the gray Hyundai Sonata speed past them, perhaps going as fast as 70 or 75 miles per hour, a Cook County Sheriff's Office press release said.
"After a series of traffic lights and turns into various residential areas, the officers were able to get behind the driver to call in the license plate number and turned on their emergency lights to initiate a traffic stop. The driver immediately fled at a high rate of speed. Officers did not engage in a high-speed chase, but instead called for assistance from nearby departments. "
The Sonata struck Brack shortly after turning Greenwood Avenue near 154th Street in Dolton. An ambulance took the teen to St. Margaret Mercy Healthcare Center in Hammond, Indiana hospital where he was pronounced dead.
"My son's friend who was with him, he seen the cop. And the cop was right behind (the Sonata), " said Brack's father, Kenyatta Brack Sr., according to the Chicago Tribune. "They was right there, speeding."
Police continue the search for the driver of the Sonata, who abandoned the car and ran off after driving a few more blocks striking another car. Officers used K-9 units to track the scent of the driver to a home a few blocks away and were pursuing several leads.
Meanwhile, Brack's family is mourning the loss of the teen who they said was an excellent student and talented in sports. They said he had recently converted to Islam and was in the middle of celebrating Ramadan.
"He did not deserve to die like this," Brown said Monday. "Thank God there was only one, because there's a whole lot of innocent people up there that did get hurt."