Black teen dies after being stabbed in racist attack in England: report
Police say 14-year-old Dea-John Reid was subjected to racist language prior to the fatal incident
Dea-John Reid, a 14-year-old boy, was killed on Monday in Birmingham, England after being stabbed in the chest.
The BBC reported that Reid was chased and subjected to racist verbal abuse before being attacked.
According to West Midlands Police, Reid and his friends were approached on the street by a group of people and were the target of racist language.
“We now believe there was an incident involving Dea-John and his friends shortly before the murder,” said West Midlands Detective Chief Inspector Stu Mobberley, who went on to say that the incident “quickly escalated, resulting in Dea-John’s tragic death.”
Mobberley continued, “During this precursor incident racist language was directed at Dea-John and his friends. That’s now being investigated.”
Reid was then chased by the group towards a McDonald’s. After Reid collapsed, the group fled the scene. It was reported that Reid had died of stab wounds.
Six people have been arrested and charged in connection to Reid’s death. The BBC reports that two of the suspects arrested were 14 and 13 years of age. The other four detained persons were adults between the ages of 33 and 38.
Two of the adults have been identified by The Guardian as Michael Shields, 35, and George Khan, 38. The teens are minors and names and cannot be disclosed. Shields was reported to have been wearing a black face mask and dark grey jumper and will stand trial on a murder charge starting next February.
Reid’s family issued a statement regarding his death:
“We’d like to thank the emergency services for their diligence and support … and the public for their outpouring of love and support throughout this tragic and challenging time. This loss not only affects us but everyone Dea-John knew. We have lost a son, his siblings have lost a brother and others have lost a friend. The passing of this incredibly talented young boy will be felt by us all.”
Community activist Desmond Jaddoo has urged that the police continue to probe into the possibility that Reid’s death was racially motivated as well as asking the community to be patient.
“I would ask the police that this is kept on their agenda and that no stone is left unturned, and not dismiss any feedback from our community,” Jaddoo told The Guardian. “Please, let us remain calm, let the police do their job and let’s hold them to account on this.”
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