Michigan State Police review policy in Detroit after deadly ATV chase

Fox 2 interviewed Michigan State Trooper Mark Bessner in May. At the time, he spoke about helping a young boy who had gotten stuck in a baby swing.

Now Trooper Bessner is accused of firing his Taser at 15-year-old Damon Grimes over the weekend during a chase at the corner of Gratiot and Rossini.

Witnesses say it caused the teen to lose control of his ATV and he crashed into another vehicle. Grimes lost his life.

No one answered when we went to the Trooper’s home and knocked on his door.

It’s been a tense week following the tragedy. A vigil Wednesday night at the corner where the crash happened got heated at one point. Fortunately, police were able to keep the situation calm.

Bessner has been suspended pending an investigation – both by MSP and the Detroit Police Department.

Also this week, the family and attorney Geoffrey Fieger filed a $50 Million lawsuit against Bessner, focusing on his alleged background of excessive force. One case from 2013 was dismissed. 

"My understanding is he may have a series of incidents that have followed him around, so the situation is not an isolated incident," said Fieger.

"From my understanding they said this is his second offense of something like this, ot third offense of something like this, so I don't understand why he is still supposed to be here to protect and serve,” said Grimes’s mother.

There is a demonstration planned for Friday at 11 a.m. in front of Detroit Police Headquarters where Michigan State Police has a post. Organizers say they are pushing to speak with MSP and DPD officials after the demonstration.

"Tomorrow is the beginning of a series of demonstrations," said Reverend David Bullock.

They say the next step will be speaking with the Wayne County Prosecutor and Mayor’s Office, pushing for any dash or body cam video to be released as soon as possible. They’re also pressing for the Trooper to lose his job and face charges.

They’re also pressing for the Trooper to lose his job and face charges. Organizers for the demonstration on Friday are responding to those who have criticized the teenager for not stopping during the chase.

"Was he wrong for not stopping? Absolutely, but was he wrong enough to be killed? Was he wrong enough to be Tased while driving a vehicle? Absolutely not?" said Reverend W.J. Rideout.

Right now, MSP official are not commenting on their investigation.

However, they are changing their pursuit policy in the city of Detroit. A trooper will not engage in a pursuit for a traffic violation or misdemeanor offense – which is similar to the policy for Detroit Police officers.

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