On Monday (31 April 2021) at 07:30pm, Dea-John Reid, 14, was found with a stab wound on College Road in Birmingham. Police in the area have said that Dea-John died from a stab wound to the chest area.
The stabbing appeared to take place following a racially-charged fight outside a McDonalds where the local police sighted seven suspects running away from the fast food establishment. So far, four men and two children have been arrested by West Midlands police in connection to the murder. Two of the men and a 13 year old boy have been released with no further action to be taken by the police.
Claims that the attack was the result of a racially motivated crime have been dismissed by West Midlands Police in spite of the fact that Dea-John had racist abuse directed towards him whilst being attacked by his killers. In a statement West Midlands Police said: “New information is coming into the enquiry all the time and being assessed..“
It has also emerged that Dea-John contacted the police six days before his death due to death threats that he had received. Police officers failed to meet him as arranged despite Dea-John expressing concerns of his own personal safety to the police.
The case has been transferred to the Independent Office of Police Conduct watchdog due to the previous incidents involving Dea-John Reid’s concerns, according to West Midlands Police.
The full circumstances around the tragic death are not yet clear and questions will remain until the case goes before court in February of next year where the full details of the murder will be presented, which should hopefully bring clarity to the saddening incident. What is certain is that this only comes as another horrendous loss of life of a teenager in what for some communities around the UK feels like a never ending increase in knife crime and racism.
Joan Morris, the mother of Dea-John Reid gave the following statement: “How many more mothers will have to mourn for their sons for this to stop? 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.”
Desmond Jabbo, a local community activist has said: “I was here last night with the boy’s mother and friends who had gathered and they were naturally inconsolable.
“She has lost her 14-year-old boy who had his whole life ahead of him and will never return home.”