Devonte Scott. He is stood outside his house wearing a tuxedo and smiling at the camera.

Devonte’s legacy will be ‘to prevent future deaths’, say family

  • Officers cleared of blame by IOPC after investigation
  • Family pays tribute to ‘amazing young boy’ in candlelight vigil
  • Featured image credit: family handout

Devonte Scott, who died following a pursuit by police in 2021, has been described by his family as “an amazing young boy” who was “well-respected in the community”.

The tribute to Devonte came at a vigil held to remember those who died in circumstances involving police pursuits.

Families and attendees of the #EndPolicePursuits vigil Credit: Leslie Kerwin

Devonte was 18 when he told his girlfriend, Morgan Masters, that he was “nipping out for an hour” in May 2021. Half-an-hour later, she received a phone call to say he had been involved in a car accident.

An inquest held in August 2022 was told that two GMP road traffic officers were on patrol in an unmarked police car when Devonte attempted to overtake them.

The officers allowed him to pass, before signalling for him to stop. Devonte’s car then turned to drive in the opposite direction and the officers gave chase.

During the pursuit Devonte’s Ford Fiesta crashed into two cars on Urmston Road, Stretford. His front tire became ‘entangled’ with the back tyre of a Mercedes as he tried to pass it, causing the car to flip onto the bonnet of an oncoming Citroen.

A post-mortem examination found his head injuries to be “unsurvivable”. The car had been reported stolen in April, 2021, although the inquest heard there was no evidence to suggest Devonte was responsible for the theft.

Both officers involved in the pursuit were cleared of blame by the IOPC. The report states: “We concluded that while the police presence may have affected the manner of Mr Scott’s driving, the evidence indicated the officers acted in accordance with local and national policies.”

Speaking at the vigil, his sister Marice Barnes shared her experiences.

Devonte’s sister, Marice Barnes, giving a speech at the #EndPolicePursuits vigil Credit: Leslie Kerwin

She said: “We need to come together, support our young people, educate them on how they can protect themselves from this law. This law is not here, and these police aren’t designed, to make our young people prosper.”

In a statement to the NPMP after the inquest, Devonte’s family said it had concerns about the use of police pursuits and the use of self-authorisation, the process which allows a single officer to authorise their own pursuit.

“With other families who have lost loved ones, we are campaigning to address these questions and we hope that part of Devonte’s lasting legacy will be to prevent future unnecessary deaths as a result of police pursuit,” the family said.