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15yo Detroit black teen dead after crashing an ATV while being tazed by a Michigan State trooper…

stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/08/28/state-police-troopers-used-taser-boy-who-died-while-fl-trooper-suspended-after-suspect-dies-atv-cras/607970001/
Detroit police probe Tasering of boy in fatal ATV crash

Detroit — Police have launched an investigation into a police pursuit Saturday that ended when a state trooper used a stun gun on a 15-year-old ATV driver, who crashed into a pickup and died.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig announced the probe Monday, a day after state police suspended the trooper and began an internal investigation.

Demond Grimes was killed about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Rossini and Gratiot on Detroit’s east side. State police, who patrol the 9th Precinct as part of the Secure Cities partnership, say Grimes was driving the ATV on the street, which is illegal, so the trooper ordered him to pull over.

State police Lt. Mike Shaw said Grimes didn’t comply, so the trooper pursued him. At some point during the chase, the trooper deployed his Taser, striking the boy, who then drove the ATV over a curb and slammed into the back of a pickup.


Troopers rendered first aid before medics arrived and began treatment. Grimes was transported to St. John Hospital, where he died. Shaw said the pursuit was over within 49 seconds.

The trooper was suspended Sunday, with Shaw adding: “We had to look at the facts before making a decision (to suspend the trooper).

“We’ll do our own investigation, which we’ll forward to the prosecutor,” Shaw said. “If there’s a determination that a crime or a felony took place, his status will change.”

Shaw added the trooper was suspended because he violated a policy forbidding using a stun gun in a moving vehicle.

Shaw said state police are using troopers from the 1st District in Lansing for the agency’s internal probe. He said investigators are looking into why the trooper deployed his stun gun.


Craig said he decided Monday to launch his inquiry.

“Anytime we have a situation that involves a death with another police agency involved, it warrants an independent investigation,” Craig said. “This in no way suggests any impropriety on the part of the Michigan State Police.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office would evaluate the recommendations from the separate police probes as part of its own investigation.

Several law enforcement agencies patrol Detroit, all with their own policies governing vehicle chases. Detroit police restrict chases to violent felons, and even then there isn’t always a pursuit, Craig said.


“Even in the case of a felony, there are a lot of factors to consider: Time of day, road conditions, what impact there might be to the public,” Craig said. “I’m a firm believer that in the event of a pursuit, particularly one that causes a danger to the public, our airship should monitor it.”

Craig added most situations don’t call for chasing someone — “particularly when you talk about a traffic infraction or a misdemeanor,” he said.

State police follow the agency’s own chase policy, even if they’re patrolling in cities that have differing rules, Shaw said.

“Our policy is also very restrictive,” Shaw said. “We teach troopers to take numerous things into (account): what the speed is, age, weather conditions, danger to public. Our helicopters often fly over Detroit, but in this case, it wouldn’t have mattered because the incident was over so fast.”

According to the Wayne County sheriff’s chase policy, “vehicular pursuit is justified only if the officer knows, or has reasonable grounds to believe, that the fleeing person has already committed, or attempted to commit, a serious felony that could result in death or bodily injury, or has the intent or means to commit a serious felony that could result in death or bodily injury in the immediate future.”

Meanwhile, friends and others gathered Monday night near the crash scene for a vigil that was postponed because of rain.

“We never thought we would lose someone so important to us to the police,” said Natavia Hamilton, 13, a longtime friend who turned out to honor her friend before she learned the vigil was postponed.

The death highlights a need for policy change, said Sam Riddle, who is active with the National Action Network.

“No one’s life was in danger but his,” he said near the crash scene Monday night. “There must be a policy in Detroit that addresses this and the inhumane manner of outside police agencies using Detroiters for target practice.”

Police chases have proven deadly throughout the years.

In January, two men were killed when Detroit officers from the 10th Precinct chased a minivan after a traffic stop. The minivan crashed into another vehicle, resulting in both deaths.

In June 2015, Makiah Jackson, 3, and Michaelangelo Jackson, 6, were killed while Detroit police chased parole absconder Lorenzo Harris, who drove his car 95 mph through an east side neighborhood as he tried to elude officers. He was convicted of two charges of involuntary manslaughter and sentenced to 30-50 years in prison.


Both Craig and Shaw said ATVs are a growing problem in Detroit and nationwide.

“We’re getting up to 80 of these things driving on the roadways, threatening people, causing traffic issues,” Shaw said. “The individual was pursued (Saturday) for driving on the roadway; you can’t drive these vehicles on the road in the city of Detroit.”

Craig also said teens driving ATVs have been taunting officers.

“We’re aware of complaints of young people who engage in ... racing (ATVs),” Craig said. “In the 9th Precinct, they would taunt the police, doing wheelies in front of police cars.

“But it amounts to a misdemeanor at best, so our officers know not to pursue. It’s too much risk.”

Smh...
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“Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards

Replies

  • Chi SnowChi Snow Night's Watch Castle BlackPosts: 28,111 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Can we blame Meek Mill???

    But I'm at a loss for what happened, did they ride up next to him and tase him?
    His hair?
    WACK
    His gear?
    WACK
    His jewelry?
    WACK
    His footstance?
    WACK
    The way he talks?
    WACK
    The way he doesn't even like to smile?
    WACK
    Me?
    I'm tight as FUCK
    JusDre313onetoughmiracleTonyDubbz
  • themadlionsfanthemadlionsfan Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These cops are stupid as hell...them dudes in the east side won't think twice about killing a cop...they better tighten up
    lions-650x406.jpg
    JusDre313dnyce215Young StefMD_PROPER
  • $ineedmoney$$ineedmoney$ The bushes is watchin'... Posts: 3,627 ✭✭✭✭✭
    ...A State Trooper at that...smh...The most he should've done was write that kid a ticket...

    ...Witnesses are saying the trooper pulled to the side of him and tased him while the ATV was still in motion...That trooper is a class A [email protected]
    Chi SnowYoung Stef
  • genocidecuttergenocidecutter Posts: 17,825 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Oops
    Gives us back images in sigs
  • JusDre313JusDre313 ∩┐(◕_◕)┌∩┐ YEP........................ MEDICINAL!Posts: 4,727 ✭✭✭✭✭
    These cops are stupid as hell...them dudes in the east side won't think twice about killing a cop...they better tighten up

    and them state troopers shouldnt be in the fucking city anyway... shit irritates me every time i see em in the city.. coming to the hood to make their quotas smmfh

    Young Stef
  • themadlionsfanthemadlionsfan Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    JusDre313 wrote: »
    These cops are stupid as hell...them dudes in the east side won't think twice about killing a cop...they better tighten up

    and them state troopers shouldnt be in the fucking city anyway... shit irritates me every time i see em in the city.. coming to the hood to make their quotas smmfh

    Thats the one thing Coleman Young did right....he kept the State Troopers out of the city.
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  • playmaker88playmaker88 Boy, I tell you that's vision Like Tony Romo when he hitting Witten Posts: 67,904 ✭✭✭✭✭
  • ShuffingtonShuffington Posts: 3,775 ✭✭✭✭✭
    Cops use tasers?
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/08/30/lawsuit-atv-fieger-tasered-damon-grimes/616436001/
    $50M lawsuit filed against Michigan State Police trooper in ATV Taser case

    A $50-million lawsuit has been filed against the Michigan State Trooper who Tasered a Detroit teen on an ATV shortly before the teen crashed his vehicle and died this past weekend.

    Attorney Geoffrey Fieger filed the lawsuit Wednesday against a Michigan State Police trooper on behalf of the family of 15-year-old Damon Grimes.

    Fieger called the incident "a drive-by shooting of a child on an ATV."

    "Under no circumstance should any police officer ever shoot like a cowboy out of his vehicle, out the window," he said at a news conference, flanked by Damon's mother and father, Monique Grimes and John Hughes.

    The federal lawsuit was filed in Detroit today and is assigned to U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain. The suit was filed against a "John Doe" defendant as Fieger has not yet confirmed the trooper's identity. The identity has since been confirmed by the Detroit Free Press as Mark Bessner.

    "The death of Damon Grimes was tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," his attorney Richard Convertino wrote in an emailed statement to the Detroit Free Press this evening. "On August 26th, Troopers attempted to stop Mr. Grimes who recklessly and dangerously drove an ATV as he actively resisted and evaded arrest. During the pursuit, Trooper Bessner was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances on the scene and at the moment which was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving. We are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation and trust the investigators will assess the facts objectively in light of the totality of the circumstances.”

    As the Free Press reported this afternoon, Bessner has been sued in the past for using excessive force. Since 2013, two different civil lawsuits, both involving Tasers, have been filed against the 43-year-old for excessive force. The first, which was filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court in Detroit and settled a year later, alleges that Bessner "repeatedly struck" and "gratuitously kneed" an unarmed plaintiff, who was never charged with a crime. The second case, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in 2015, alleges that Bessner Tased the plaintiff on "multiple and continuous occasions with the specific intent of inflicting pain," including after the plaintiff was in handcuffs.

    On Saturday evening, Grimes died after crashing his four-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle into a pickup truck after Bessner reached out the window of his patrol vehicle and shocked him with a taser in an effort to get the teen off the road.

    It's a violation of Michigan State Police policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle.

    Grimes was weeks away from starting the ninth grade at Michigan Collegiate High School in Warren.

    According to Fieger ATV riding was one of the teen's hobbies, something that he enjoyed doing with his father John.

    Tasers, which have been used by police officers since the late 1990s, have been a hot-button topic in recent years — especially with increased national concern about police brutality and use of force.
    Those in favor of Tasers often point to the fact that the device can be used to defuse a situation without an officer having to turn to a deadly force, like a gun.

    Critics of the devices, however, contend that Tasers can also be deadly. In 2015, the Guardian's "The Counted" project found that there were 47 officer-involved deaths that occurred after the use of a Taser that year. Of those deaths, all but three of the victims were unarmed, and nearly 40% of the victims were black.

    The Michigan Legislature passed a law in 2002 allowing police officers to use Tasers. In June 2003, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office began using them — one of the first agencies in the state.

    The adoption has had its up and downs in southeastern Michigan. While the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners watched a presentation on Tasers in 2003, it did not adopt them — because of pushback from community activists — until May.

    In 2012, the Warren Police Department decided to nix tasers. In 2009, a 16-year-old boy died after Warren police zapped him with a Taser — 50,000 volts of electricity — while resisting arrest.
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
    JusDre313
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/08/30/fatal-atv-crash-michigan-state-police-lawsuit/105112680/
    Trooper in ATV death twice accused of excessive force

    A state police trooper suspended after using a Taser on a 15-year-old ATV driver who crashed and died was previously accused of excessive force in two separate lawsuits, although the cases against him were dismissed.

    Those revelations about the state trooper, identified by a police source as Mark Bessner, come as a new $50 million lawsuit was filed Wednesday in federal court over Saturday’s incident in which Damon Grimes was killed on Detroit’s east side.

    Bessner has not been charged in Grimes’ death as state police and Detroit police conduct separate investigations.

    Police say Grimes was driving his ATV illegally on the road and refused a trooper’s order to stop. The trooper deployed his Taser and Grimes hit a parked pickup. Grimes later died of blunt-force injury to the head, according to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, which ruled the death accidental.

    According to records reviewed by The Detroit News, Bessner was among several state troopers who were sued in cases in federal court and Wayne County Circuit Court for using excessive force. Both cases were later dismissed.

    In a 2013 federal case, the lawsuit claimed Bessner and other state troopers spotted Martin McCurtis standing outside Sinai-Grace Hospital’s emergency room and attacked him for no reason.

    “The defendants suddenly and violently seized plaintiff by tackling and throwing him to the ground,” the lawsuit said.

    “Bessner repeatedly struck plaintiff’s body and gratuitously kneed him in his face and head multiple times as plaintiff was lying defenseless on the ground. The other defendants joined in the unprovoked physical assault of plaintiff.”

    The federal suit further stated police sought a warrant against the man for resisting and obstructing a police officer.

    “After reviewing the evidence, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office refused to authorize a warrant against plaintiff,” the lawsuit said.

    In their response, the troopers’ attorneys, Joseph T. Froehlich and John G. Fedynsky, wrote: “The allegation is denied ... for the reason that it is not an accurate statement of fact and asserts an incorrect conclusion of law.

    “Some or all of plaintiff’s losses and damages, if any, was caused by his own conduct or the conduct of third parties and not attributable to defendants.”

    The lawsuit was dismissed with prejudice in October 2014 by U.S. District Judge Denise Page Hood after the parties agreed to a settlement. The terms of that settlement were not disclosed in the court filings.

    Efforts to reach McCurtis for comment were unsuccessful on Wednesday. Matthew Kolodziejski, the attorney who filed the complaint, did not immediately respond to a message seeking comment.

    Separately, the Wayne County suit, involving a September 2014 traffic stop in Detroit, also was dismissed.

    That lawsuit alleged Bessner and other troopers chased motorist Michael Crittle after running his plate.

    The lawsuit alleged when Crittle stopped, the troopers broke his passenger window and used a Taser on him before Bessner pulled him out of the window and handcuffed him.

    In the suit, Crittle said troopers threw him to the ground, and he suffered a broken arm.

    During a preliminary examination in the case, Bessner admitted he used the Taser on the motorist, including once after the man was in handcuffs.

    “He was ordered to exit. He didn’t comply. He was Tasered multiple times until we were able to handcuff him,” said Bessner, according to court records.


    That case was dismissed in January 2016 for non-service reasons.
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/08/31/state-police-changes-vehicle-pursuit-policy-detroit/621445001/
    MSP limits Detroit pursuits after ATV death


    The Michigan State Police sharply tightened its rules on car chases in Detroit on Thursday, five days after a trooper’s pursuit contributed to the death of a 15-year-old ATV rider.

    Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue said in a statement that the agency is reassessing its vehicle pursuit policy, known as Official Order 10.

    “Effective immediately, troopers patrolling in the city of Detroit will be prohibited from engaging in vehicle pursuits resulting from a traffic violation or misdemeanor offense,” she said. “This policy change will be in effect until Official Order 10 is revised.”


    A state lawmaker, who introduced a bill two years ago to require troopers to follow local chase policies, said the state police change should be implemented across Michigan.

    “This needs to be their policy statewide,” Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, said Thursday. “If it’s bad to chase people for misdemeanors in Detroit, it’s bad for all of Michigan, and we need to help the state police realize that. For them to try to create a policy only for Detroit shows they’re thinking about this wrong.”

    Neeley said he plans to re-introduce his legislation, which did not come to a vote in the House in 2015.

    “When we introduced it last time, the state police were very resistant to any corrections we tried to make to perfect their pursuit policy,” he said. “There are too many injuries and deaths resulting from these chases.”

    Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan met with Gov. Rick Snyder on Monday to urge that the state police pursuit policy be changed and spoke with Neeley “and expressed my full support for his proposed legislation to require Michigan State Police to abide by local pursuit policies when patrolling within the boundaries of a city.”

    “Police chases often have the potential for tragedy and the difference in the policies of the Detroit Police Department and the Michigan State Police highlight that concern,” Duggan said in a statement.

    The state police shift brings the agency into line with Detroit police policy, which calls for officers to chase motorists only if they’ve committed violent felonies and pose a risk to the public.

    “We have been looking at a revised version of our Official Order 10 for a while now,” Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw said. “Since 40 percent of our pursuits happen in the Detroit area, this a good way to see if restricting the policy to felonies only makes a difference, and if it would be effective statewide.

    “Remember this is only temporary until the revision is complete. Our data may show that there doesn’t need to be a change to the order or we need to make a different change. So that’s why it’s only Detroit for now.”

    Etue said all troopers have been reminded that current policy requires troopers to weigh the hazard presented by the violator against the risk created by the pursuit.

    Etue’s announcement came less than a week after Damon Grimes died Saturday after crashing an ATV during an alleged attempt to flee Michigan State Police on Detroit’s east side. State police said a trooper shocked the teen with a Taser during the pursuit, and that the boy’s ATV drove over a curb and slammed into the back of a parked pickup.

    The Detroit Police Department is investigating the incident, along with the state police.

    Thursday’s shift brings state police closer to Detroit police policy, which calls for officers to chase motorists only if they’ve committed violent felonies and pose a risk to the public.

    Etue said all troopers have been reminded that current policy requires troopers to weigh the hazard presented by the violator against the risk created by the pursuit in all instances.

    Detroit Police Chief James Craig praised the state police decision on Thursday.

    “I think it’s a great thing. MSP quickly responded to our community, and I think it’s an appropriate response,” the chief said. “Some aspects of their policy mirror the Detroit police policy, and we welcome it, and applaud the state police for taking the initiative to respond quickly to what has become a tragic situation.”

    But Detroit Police Commissioner Willie Burton said state police should have acted sooner.

    “It’s good to see that state police changed their policy, but it’s too late,” he said. “A 15-year-old lost his life; they should have changed that policy a long time ago. I’m glad Chief Craig has started an investigation because we need to find out what happened.”

    The trooper, identified by a police source as Mark Bessner, has been suspended with pay pending the outcome of the state police inquiry.

    Bessner was previously accused of excessive force in two separate lawsuits, although the cases against him were dismissed. He has not been charged in the ATV incident.

    Grimes’ family, represented by Southfield lawyer Geoffrey Fieger, has filed a $50 million suit against the trooper. Reached Thursday, the teen’s mother, Monique Grimes, declined to comment.

    The state police pursuit, the use of the stun gun on Grimes, and the teen’s subsequent fatal crash have stoked anger in the community. A vigil Wednesday night on Detroit’s east side drew more than 200 people and turned into a protest, with two men jumping on a police car.

    “I think that (the state police incident) is a criminal action, and it needs to be investigated by the federal government,” state Sen. Coleman Young II said during a meeting Thursday of the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners. “It’s wrong, and it’s disturbing.”

    Young, who’s running for mayor against Duggan in the November election, added: “This young man had his entire life ahead of him, and it was wiped out for a civil infraction.”

    Representatives of local clergy and citizens, including the Rev. David Bullock of Greater St. Matthew Baptist Church and the Rev. W.J. Rideout III of All God’s People Church, said the community is upset.

    “Why would Michigan State Police have a different protocol than local police,” Bullock said. “It’s great to see the development now, but maybe if they had that in place initially, then this kid wouldn’t be dead.”
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
  • konceptjoneskonceptjones Old School Playa Posts: 13,139 ✭✭✭✭✭
    JusDre313 wrote: »
    These cops are stupid as hell...them dudes in the east side won't think twice about killing a cop...they better tighten up

    and them state troopers shouldnt be in the fucking city anyway... shit irritates me every time i see em in the city.. coming to the hood to make their quotas smmfh

    The only time I ever used to see state boys in the city was along Michigan Ave or something like that; roads that are technically highways which would make them a part of their jurisdiction. Outside of that I can remember a few times where some shit went down and all available cops were called to the scene. One time I was walking back to my apartment in Ypsi when something like 20 cruisers flew by me at high speed. Ypsi cops, Pittsfield Twp cops, State troopers, Washtenaw County sheriffs, and even EMU campus police were called out for some shit.
    i'm not sure which entity leaves people more abused and lost; the Porn Industry or Bad Boy Records.
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/08/30/vigil-protest-tasered-teen-killed-truck-michigan-state-police/105137568/
    Vigil for Tasered teen turns into protest

    A vigil for a teen killed when his ATV crashed after he was Tasered by a state police trooper stopped traffic and evolved into a protest as hundreds gathered Wednesday night on Detroit’s east side.

    “This is what happens when we gotta get organized,” said Ned Zeek of New Era Detroit. “We gotta get organized down here. ... we ain’t just gonna let (expletive) come to the hood and do whatever (expletive) they wanna do. Ya’ll gotta believe that ... we gotta be free!”

    The crowd shouted in agreement. “That’s right,” someone said, punctuating Zeek’s speech. “It’s not right; it’s not right,” others yelled. Others cried out: “Power to the people!”

    “The only way we gonna be able to beat it is if we organize,” Zeek shouted.

    More than 200 people, from youngsters and teens to senior citizens, gathered outside Embassy Coney Island on Gratiot on Wednesday for what began as a quiet vigil.


    An hour into the vigil,which began at 8:30 p.m., ATVs amassed on Gratiot in honor of Damon Grimes, the teen who died when he drove his ATV in the street at Rossini and Gratiot on Saturday. Police say Damon, 15, refused a Michigan State Police trooper’s order to stop. The trooper deployed his Taser and the teen hit a parked truck and was killed.

    About 20 ATVs were turning onto East State Fair when a police car drove up to the scene, lights flashing and sirens on. The crowd surged and two males jumped on the squad car with the officers inside. Other police cars soon followed and ordered the crowd to back up and get off the street. The crowd heeded the orders.

    The crowd raised their arms and chanted. Some help up cellphones to capture the moment.

    “They jumped on the car. It was insane," said Ania Jameson, 16, a friend of Damon’s who came to the vigil. "He was a sweetheart, such a good kid and as you can see by who showed up. Everyone loved him."

    Police did not make any arrests or issue tickets, Detroit police Sgt. Nicole Kirkwood said.

    Candles, teddy bears and balloons filled the corner of Rossini and Gratiot. Balloons spelling "DaeDae" hung from the fence.

    Some of those gathered for the vigil dressed in red, white and black, Damon’s favorite colors.

    His sister came on her bright red Yamaha ATV Kodiak 700, wearing a tribute shirt saying #DaeDaeWorld.

    Dezajanai, 17, said it’s normal for people in Detroit’s east side to ride ATV’s in the street. She and Damon use to ride all the time together.

    "We're here tonight for him. To send him off right," said Dezajanai. "This is my ATV, he just got his a month ago."
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.detroitnews.com/story/news/local/detroit-city/2017/09/01/atv-crash-death-protest/105189526/
    Protesters want trooper prosecuted in teen’s ATV death

    Community activists and residents called Friday for swift prosecution of a Michigan State trooper in the death of teenager Damon Grimes, who crashed his ATV after being chased and shot with a stun gun.

    In a peaceful but spirited protest outside Detroit Police headquarters at Third and Michigan near downtown, about 55 protesters chanted “No Justice No Peace” and carried signs that read “Black Lives Matter” and “Justice 4 Damon Grimes.”

    The Detroit Police Department is investigating the Aug. 26 incident in addition to the Michigan State Police.

    The protest was led by three local pastors: the Rev. David Alexander Bullock, the Rev. W.J. Rideout and the Rev. Maurice Hardwick.

    Bullock called on Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy to “expeditiously” bring charges against the trooper. State police have said the trooper pursued Grimes after he ignored an order to stop, then shot the teen with a Taser. The boy ran over a curb on his ATV and struck the rear of a pickup.

    “(Grimes) should be going back to school but he’s going in the ground this week,” Bullock said. “Enough is enough. We want justice for Damon Grimes. This is not an isolated incident of the Michigan State Police performing high-speed patrols in urban areas.”

    Bullock added that state police “should be held accountable for idiotic police stops” in African-American communities.

    “They have the unmitigated gall and gumption to not follow the rules of the local law enforcement in whatever jurisdiction they are serving,” he said. “They have decided across the state to supersede, to disrespect, to deny and to step on the policy and the procedures of the law enforcement agencies.”


    On Thursday, MSP officials changed the agency’s pursuit policy in Detroit, barring troopers from chasing motorists for traffic violations or misdemeanors.

    Explaining the revision, state police Lt. Mike Shaw said, “Since 40 percent of our pursuits happen in the Detroit area, this a good way to see if restricting the policy to felonies only makes a difference, and if it would be effective statewide.”

    Rideout said “what (the trooper) did was very disrespectful.” He also called for charges against the trooper’s partner, who Rideout said did nothing to stop the incident.

    The trooper, identified by a police source as Mark Bessner, has been placed on paid leave during the investigation. According to court records, Bessner was previously accused of using excessive force in two lawsuits, though both cases were dismissed.

    The ministers and several protesters met briefly with Detroit Police Chief James Craig after the chief held a news conference about his department’s investigation.

    Craig said his department was “on the ground immediately” after learning about the incident.

    Craig said the investigation will be timely and thorough. The chief added that if his department confirms that a Taser was used in the pursuit, “now we’re talking about the possibility of a criminal act.”

    The chief also expressed support for a proposal by state Rep. Sheldon Neeley, D-Flint, that would require state troopers to follow local police department policy and procedures for high-speed pursuits, calling it a “great first step” in reducing the danger from such chases.
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/08/31/trooper-statement-taser-teen-death/619679001/
    Attorney for trooper in ATV death: 'split-second decision' was made

    The defense attorney for the Michigan State Police trooper who Tasered a Detroit teen on an ATV shortly before the teen crashed the vehicle and died, released a statement Wednesday saying his client was forced to "make a split-second decision" under tense circumstances.

    Michigan defense attorney and former Detroit federal prosecutor Richard Convertino is representing Michigan State Police trooper Mark Bessner, who was suspended earlier this week after shooting a Taser out the window of his patrol vehicle at 15-year-old Damon Grimes. The teen subsequently died after crashing his four-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle into a pickup truck. It's a violation of Michigan State Police policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle.

    On Wednesday evening, Convertino released a statement to the Detroit Free Press in regard to his client, emphasizing the fact that the teen refused to obey Bessner's commands to stop prior to the Tasing.

    "The death of Damon Grimes was tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," his attorney Richard Convertino wrote in an e-mailed statement to the Detroit Free Press. "On August 26th, Troopers attempted to stop Mr. Grimes who recklessly and dangerously drove an ATV as he actively resisted and evaded arrest. During the pursuit, Trooper Bessner was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances on the scene and at the moment which was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving. We are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation and trust the investigators will assess the facts objectively in light of the totality of the circumstances.”


    Detroit police are investigating the incident and the subsequent death of the unarmed teen. On Wednesday, a $50-million lawsuit was filed against the trooper on behalf of Damon's parents, Monique and John Hughes. The federal lawsuit, which was filed in Detroit by attorney Geoffrey Fieger and assigned to U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain, was originally filed as a "John Doe" suit, as the firm had not yet confirmed the trooper's identity.

    "Under no circumstance should any police officer ever shoot like a cowboy out of his vehicle, out the window," Fieger, flanked by Damon's parents, said at a news conference.


    Following the news conference, the Detroit Free Press confirmed the identity of the trooper as Bessner.

    Court records obtained by Free Press indicate that Bessner, 43, who joined MSP's Metro Post in 2012 after serving three years with Canton Township Police Department, has a history of excessive force.

    Since 2013, two civil lawsuits, both involving Tasers, have been filed against Bessner.

    The first, which was filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court in Detroit and settled a year later, alleges that Bessner "repeatedly struck" and "gratuitously kneed" an unarmed plaintiff, who was never charged with a crime.

    The second case, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in 2015, alleges that Bessner Tasered the plaintiff on "multiple and continuous occasions with the specific intent of inflicting pain," including after the plaintiff was in handcuffs.

    At the news conference Wednesday where the $50 million suit against the trooper was announced, Fieger called the incident "a drive-by shooting of a child on an ATV."

    Damon was weeks away from starting ninth grade at Michigan Collegiate High School in Warren.

    According to Fieger, ATV riding was one of the teen's hobbies, something that he enjoyed doing with his father, John.

    On Wednesday evening, a vigil was held for the teen not far from the intersection where he crashed.

    According to the Associated Press, more than 200 people initially gathered along Gratiot Avenue. Some shouted obscenities at the police. No arrests were made and no one was ticketed.
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
  • themadlionsfanthemadlionsfan Posts: 9,134 ✭✭✭✭✭
    http://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/08/30/lawsuit-atv-fieger-tasered-damon-grimes/616436001/
    $50M lawsuit filed against Michigan State Police trooper in ATV Taser case

    A $50-million lawsuit has been filed against the Michigan State Trooper who Tasered a Detroit teen on an ATV shortly before the teen crashed his vehicle and died this past weekend.

    Attorney Geoffrey Fieger filed the lawsuit Wednesday against a Michigan State Police trooper on behalf of the family of 15-year-old Damon Grimes.

    Fieger called the incident "a drive-by shooting of a child on an ATV."

    "Under no circumstance should any police officer ever shoot like a cowboy out of his vehicle, out the window," he said at a news conference, flanked by Damon's mother and father, Monique Grimes and John Hughes.

    The federal lawsuit was filed in Detroit today and is assigned to U.S. District Judge Gershwin Drain. The suit was filed against a "John Doe" defendant as Fieger has not yet confirmed the trooper's identity. The identity has since been confirmed by the Detroit Free Press as Mark Bessner.

    "The death of Damon Grimes was tragic and our thoughts and prayers are with his family and friends," his attorney Richard Convertino wrote in an emailed statement to the Detroit Free Press this evening. "On August 26th, Troopers attempted to stop Mr. Grimes who recklessly and dangerously drove an ATV as he actively resisted and evaded arrest. During the pursuit, Trooper Bessner was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances on the scene and at the moment which was tense, uncertain and rapidly evolving. We are fully cooperating with the ongoing investigation and trust the investigators will assess the facts objectively in light of the totality of the circumstances.”

    As the Free Press reported this afternoon, Bessner has been sued in the past for using excessive force. Since 2013, two different civil lawsuits, both involving Tasers, have been filed against the 43-year-old for excessive force. The first, which was filed in 2013 in U.S. District Court in Detroit and settled a year later, alleges that Bessner "repeatedly struck" and "gratuitously kneed" an unarmed plaintiff, who was never charged with a crime. The second case, filed in Wayne County Circuit Court in 2015, alleges that Bessner Tased the plaintiff on "multiple and continuous occasions with the specific intent of inflicting pain," including after the plaintiff was in handcuffs.

    On Saturday evening, Grimes died after crashing his four-wheeled, all-terrain vehicle into a pickup truck after Bessner reached out the window of his patrol vehicle and shocked him with a taser in an effort to get the teen off the road.

    It's a violation of Michigan State Police policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle.

    Grimes was weeks away from starting the ninth grade at Michigan Collegiate High School in Warren.

    According to Fieger ATV riding was one of the teen's hobbies, something that he enjoyed doing with his father John.

    Tasers, which have been used by police officers since the late 1990s, have been a hot-button topic in recent years — especially with increased national concern about police brutality and use of force.
    Those in favor of Tasers often point to the fact that the device can be used to defuse a situation without an officer having to turn to a deadly force, like a gun.

    Critics of the devices, however, contend that Tasers can also be deadly. In 2015, the Guardian's "The Counted" project found that there were 47 officer-involved deaths that occurred after the use of a Taser that year. Of those deaths, all but three of the victims were unarmed, and nearly 40% of the victims were black.

    The Michigan Legislature passed a law in 2002 allowing police officers to use Tasers. In June 2003, the Oakland County Sheriff's Office began using them — one of the first agencies in the state.

    The adoption has had its up and downs in southeastern Michigan. While the Detroit Board of Police Commissioners watched a presentation on Tasers in 2003, it did not adopt them — because of pushback from community activists — until May.

    In 2012, the Warren Police Department decided to nix tasers. In 2009, a 16-year-old boy died after Warren police zapped him with a Taser — 50,000 volts of electricity — while resisting arrest.

    Stopped reading when I saw Fieger' s name....that family got multiple millions coming
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  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/12/20/msp-trooper-charged-murder-death-detroit-boy-being-chased-atv/968865001/
    Ex-MSP trooper charged with murder in death of Detroit boy being chased on ATV

    A former Michigan State Police trooper is facing a murder charge in the death of a 15-year-old boy whose ATV crashed after he was shot with a Taser while fleeing from police.

    Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said the actions of former Trooper Mark Bessner caused Damon Grimes to crash into a parked truck in Detroit on Aug. 26.

    “Trooper Bessner unnecessarily deployed his Taser at Mr. Grimes without legal justification or excuse as Mr. Grimes was traveling at least 35 to 40 miles per hour,” she said.

    Worthy said Bessner, 43, who resigned shortly after the incident, is charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


    Bessmer's attorney, Richard Convertino, could not be reached for comment Wednesday.

    Bessner is scheduled to be arraigned Thursday in Detroit's 36th District Court, prosecutors said.

    Worthy detailed the charges against Bessner during the news conference at the Frank Murphy Hall of Justice in Detroit. She also announced charges against three current or former Detroit police officers in three unrelated police brutality cases, including one that occurred at a Meijer store and another at a gas station.

    In the ATV case, Worthy said Bessner and his partner chased the Detroit teen in their patrol vehicle after he refused to stop when the officers tried to pull him over for an alleged traffic citation.

    The teen was allegedly struck with prongs from the Taser fired by Bessner and crashed into a parked truck, prosecutors said. He was pronounced dead at a hospital less than 30 minutes later.

    “We are alleging that Trooper Bessner created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm, knowing that death or such harm was the likely result, by firing his Taser from his moving police vehicle at Damon Grimes who was also on a moving ATV,” Worthy said.

    It’s against MSP policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle. Bessner resigned in September and two other state police employees were suspended that same month. No criminal charges were filed against the two people who remain suspended and an administrative investigation has been launched by MSP into the incident, officials said.

    Controversy surrounds the handling of a Taser wire that was at one point thrown away and later recovered.

    Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, the director of state police, apologized to Damon Grimes' family in a statement released Wednesday,

    "Troopers are not trained to do what Bessner did and we condemn his actions," she said in the statement. "His conduct was criminal in nature and deserving of the charges … authorized by Prosecutor Kym Worthy. Neither my apology nor these criminal charges will bring Damon back, but I hope they provide some amount of solace to his family."

    His mother, Monique Grimes, said she doesn’t accept the apology at news conference at her attorney’s office Wednesday afternoon. She said she wants justice for Damon.

    "I miss him every day," She said. "He was only 15. He had his life ahead of him.”


    Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has filed a $50-million lawsuit over the teen's death.

    Attorney James Harrington, who works for the firm, stood next to Monique Grimes at the news conference and said the troopers know how a Taser works and it should not have been discharged.

    "When officers step outside of the law or they act in a way contrary to their standards that they will be held accountable, not only civilly but criminally as well,” he said. “So that’s why we’re here and we’re here for justice.”

    In an unrelated death involving a Detroit police officer, Worthy said her office would not seek charges in the police-involved shooting of 19-year-old Raynard Burton last February in Detroit.
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
  • stringer bellstringer bell Posts: 26,212 ✭✭✭✭✭
    https://www.freep.com/story/news/local/michigan/detroit/2017/12/21/trooper-detroit-atv-bessner/972427001/
    Ex-state trooper jailed on $1M bond in Detroit teen's ATV death

    A former Michigan State Police trooper was jailed on a $1-million bond after his arraignment Thursday morning on a murder charge in the death of a Detroit teen who was Tasered while riding an ATV.

    Mark Bessner, 43, who appeared in 36th District Court dressed in a suit, was led away to jail by bailiffs after his arraignment before Magistrate Bari Blake Wood.

    Sitting quietly in the courtroom, Bessner looked straight ahead as his attorney, Richard Convertino, unsuccessfully argued for a personal recognizance bond. Convertino later told reporters he had no idea if Bessner would be able to post the bond, adding that it was unexpected and "very high."

    Bessner, who resigned from the state police shortly after the Aug. 26 incident, pleaded not guilty to one count of second-degree murder and two counts of involuntary manslaughter. Second-degree murder carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment.


    "He's been in the community for almost 20 years. He's been in law enforcement for almost a decade, prior to that he was a practicing attorney, he has a home in Wayne County, his wife is fully employed as a special agent in the government, he has a child, he's not going anywhere, judge," Converntino stated as he tried to argue for a no-cost bond.

    A man sitting in the courtroom remarked "Psh, yah," to the child comment. Next to him was another man wearing a red sweatshirt with a picture of 15-year-old Damon Grimes, the teen who was killed.


    In response to Convertino's bond request, the prosecutor's office stated that they deferred to the court to make a prudent decision. They stressed, however, that "special treatment" should not be given to Bessner and that the former Trooper should be treated as any other defendant in a murder case.

    Bessner is due back in court for a probable cause conference on Jan. 4.

    Bessner is accused of shooting Grimes with an electronic stun gun from his moving patrol car as the Bessner and his partner chased the boy on his ATV, according to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

    A prong hit the teen, who subsequently crashed into a parked truck. He was pronounced dead at a hospital less than 30 minutes later.

    “Trooper Bessner unnecessarily deployed his Taser at Mr. Grimes without legal justification or excuse as Mr. Grimes was traveling at least 35 to 40 miles per hour,” Worthy said Wednesday at a news conference announcing the charges against Bessner.

    “We are alleging that trooper Bessner created a very high risk of death or great bodily harm, knowing that death or such harm was the likely result, by firing his Taser from his moving police vehicle at Damon Grimes who was also on a moving ATV,” Worthy said.

    Michigan State Police said it’s against policy to deploy a Taser from a moving vehicle. Bessner resigned in September and two other state police employees were suspended that same month. No criminal charges were filed against the two people who remain suspended and an administrative investigation has been launched by MSP into the incident, officials said.

    Bessner, who joined MSP's Metro Post in 2012 after serving three years with Canton Police Department, has a history of excessive force allegations, according to court records obtained by the Detroit Free Press. Since 2013, two different civil lawsuits, both involving Tasers, have been filed against the former trooper for alleged excessive force.
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    “Every generation has its own evil. But our evil is a different kind of evil — our systems are evil.” - Rev. Nicholas Richards
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