Two days after 14-year-old Deston Bibbs was killed by a hit-and-run motorist as he crossed Sycamore School Road at 9:20 p.m. on the night of April 25, his mother went to the media with a heartfelt plea.
"Just turn yourself in already," DeShundria Parks told WFAA's Carla Wade. "There's no more damage you can do."
"Every bone in his face was broke," she added. "His ribs were broke. His legs were broke. My baby didn't deserve that. They should have stopped."
But they didn't, and it took police more than a month for police to analyze surveillance footage from surrounding businesses and a red light camera, none of which showed the actual collision, and identify the suspect vehicle not as a pickup or SUV, as they'd initially speculated, but as an 18-wheeler carrying fracking wastewater for a company called 3-Star Daylighting. They interviewed the driver in June. They wrapped up their investigation and released their conclusions to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram late last week.
"Based on the evidence obtained from this investigation, I do not believe, nor can I prove the driver knew they were involved in an accident and thus, did not intentionally or knowingly leave the scene of the accident that resulted in the death of Mr. Deston Bibbs," the detective investigating the hit-and-run wrote.
That's at least plausible. It was night when the accident occurred, dark enough to make a young teenager on his bike all but invisible. And the truck was big enough that it's not too hard to imagine the driver dismissing the crunch of boy and bike as a pothole or something equally innocuous.
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But civil rights leaders in Fort Worth don't buy it.
"To say he didn't know he ran over Deston is unacceptable," Reverend Kyev Tatum, who leads the local chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, told the Star-Telegram. "He didn't just hit him and knock him out of the way, he ran over him."
Tatum goes on to link the investigation into the teenager's death to a recent internal investigation by Fort Worth PD into the conduct of some black officers. Both cases, he suggests, were racially motivated.
"We believe the Fort Worth Police Department is tainted -- so much that we don't believe they will give a fair and impartial investigation into this case," he told the paper.