DETROIT (WJBK) - State police have temporarily stopped patrolling part of Detroit after a trooper last month fired his Taser at a teenager before the 15-year-old crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died.
Lt. Mike Shaw says they are suspending patrols in the 9th Precinct on Detroit's east side - a decision they made about a week after Damon Grimes died on Aug. 26. Police have patrolled the precinct since 2012 as part of the state's Secure Cities Partnership.
Ten troopers are being pulled from the precinct and reassigned to the freeways. Shaw says having state police cars in the area - a high-crime portion of Detroit - may cause problems in the community. Grimes' death prompted protests and a $50 million lawsuit from his family.
Trooper Mark Bessneris suspended amid ongoing investigations. His lawyer says he made a split-second decision under tough circumstances.
The crash happened on Rossini Drive near Gratiot Avenue. Grimes' family says they were watching him ride his four-wheeler down the street when Bessner approached, attempting to pull him over.
Police say the trooper used lights and sirens to signal the stop, but Grimes did not pull over. They pursued the teen, who police say attempted to drive off the roadway, lost control and crashed into a pickup truck.
After initial reports of the incident, police announced late August that investigators found Bessner deployed a Taser that hit Grimes while he was driving the ATV - prior to the crash.
"I support the decision. It's no secret that there's been some tension in the neighborhood," said Detroit Police Chief James Craig.
Detroit police will pick up the extra patrols.
"They're not less protected. I have every confidence in the work that's going on in the 9th precinct. ... Yes, it's one of the busier precincts in the city, but they have just done a phenomenal job," Craig said.
A lot of frustration in the neighborhoods now is because the trooper accused of killing the boy has yet to be charged. Before that can happen Detroit police still have to wrap up their investigation.
"We're in a wrap up phase now. We, from the beginning have been working very closely with the Wayne County prosecutor's office. That's moving along very well," Craig said.
However he says, there are two pieces of evidence they are still waiting for an analysis on. Not going into detail on what they are or how long it will take.
"I have had conversations with Wayne County Prosecutor Worthy, so I'm satisfied with our pace and where we are," Craig said.
Chief Craig says he intends to welcome troopers back into the precinct when they believe tension has died down.
"I would hope that the take away is that, this should not be an incident that defines how the state police do their jobs. They're a professional police agency, we continue and will continue to have a great working relationship," he said.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.