Metro Detroit pastors organize demonstration against trooper in ATV crash

Posted at 6:55 PM, Sep 01, 2017
and last updated 2017-09-01 18:55:03-04

Local pastors joined community activists Friday in a demonstration outside Detroit Police Headquarters where they called for the swift prosecution of the Michigan State Police trooper who deployed a taser from the passenger seat of his patrol car at 15-year-old Damon Grimes Saturday.

State Police say it happened during a short chase after Grimes, who was riding an ATV on a residential street.

After being tased, Grimes crashed into another vehicle and died.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger, who is representing the teen's family in a lawsuit against the trooper, said a second autopsy he ordered concluded that Grimes died as a result of his neck being broken in the crash.

A spokesperson for the Wayne County Medical Examiner's Office described the cause of death as blunt force trauma to the head.

Friday's demonstration is said to be the first of several as community activists anxiously await the prosecutor's decision on whether to charge Trooper Mark Bessner in the case.

Michigan State Police and Detroit Police are conducting independent investigations.

Detroit Police Chief James Craig told reporters Friday that it was a couple hours after the deadly crash that a Michigan State Police official informed him that a taser may have been involved in the short pursuit of the teen that began when troopers tried to stop him as he rode his ATV on Rossini near Gratiot Avenue.

Chief Craig said MSP was not the first to notify him that the use of a taser had been confirmed. He says he learned that while watching local news the next morning.