DETROIT — The Latest on the death of a Detroit teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after a Michigan State Police trooper shot him with a Taser. (all times local):
The head of the Michigan State Police says troopers will stop conducting high-speed chases in Detroit in response to traffic violations or misdemeanors.
The change comes after the death of a 15-year-old boy. Damon Grimes crashed an all-terrain vehicle after a trooper shocked him with a Taser. State police Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue says the department is “reassessing its pursuit policy.”
Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says police chases “have the potential for tragedy.” Detroit police don’t go on high-speed chases unless approved by a senior officer.
Trooper Mark Bessner has been suspended while the teen’s death is investigated. Bessner’s attorney, Richard Convertino, says he had to make a “split-second decision.”
A lawyer says a Michigan State Police trooper had to make a tough “split-second decision” when he used a Taser on a Detroit teenager who died in a crash.
Richard Convertino is representing the trooper, Mark Bessner. He used a Taser to try to stop 15-year-old Damon Grimes, who was driving an all-terrain vehicle in Detroit last weekend. The boy crashed and died.
Convertino says Damon’s death is “tragic.” He claims the teen was driving an ATV “recklessly and dangerously.” The lawyer says the scene was “tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving.”
Bessner is suspended while authorities investigate. Damon’s family has filed a lawsuit, seeking $50 million. More than 200 people turned out Wednesday night at the site where the crash occurred.
Police were forced to temporarily close a Detroit street as a crowd protested the death of a teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after a state trooper shocked him with a Taser.
The Wednesday night protest began as a vigil started for 15-year-old Damon Grimes at the east side intersection where the crash occurred.
More than 200 people gathered along Gratiot Avenue. Some shouted obscenities at police. No arrests were made and no one was ticketed.
State police have said troopers tried to stop the ATV Saturday for reckless driving but the driver refused. They said he tried to drive off the road, before crashing into a pickup truck.
Prosecutors are investigating the case. The trooper has been suspended.
A $50 million civil lawsuit has been filed against the trooper.