Teen killed on ATV in state police encounter remembered on 16th birthday

- As a Michigan State Police trooper faces charges for the death of a Detroit teen, the boy's family remembers their loved one on what would have been Damon Grimes' 16th birthday.

FOX 2 has learned the state is hoping to keep some records from the Damon Grimes' death investigation from going public. This comes as his family celebrates what would've been a milestone in that young man's life.

"Instead of us trying to be mad or be angry about the situation, (Damon) wouldn't want us to be like that," said one woman at a vigil. "He would want us smiling."

But that's easier said than done. Monday would have been Damon Grimes' 16th birthday. The Detroit teen was killed in August when former state trooper Mark Bessner shot him with a stun gun from a squad car, causing the boy to crash into a truck.

Grimes failed to stop for police as he rode an ATV.

"We want to just have it where this will never happen again," said a relative of Grimes. "We're supposed to be cutting cake, eating ice cream and playing games."

Instead family, friends, and classmates gathered at the intersection of Gratiot and Rossini where Grimes crashed, in an effort to keep his name alive.

"So we look at some memories of him or go to some pictures of him because he's always smiling, showing every last tooth in his mouth," said Grimes' sister.

As for Bessner, he's facing homicide and manslaughter charges. Grimes' family also filed a wrongful death lawsuit against him.

The state attorney general's office wants a federal judge to block the press from getting a hold of records from the investigation as well as Bessner's disciplinary record.

State police tried but failed to suspend Bessner for his use of a Taser months before he encountered Grimes.

"Why wouldn't you want the media to know the truth of what's going on, because as of now they try to make it seem like my brother is a bad kid," said Grimes' sister.

Mark Bessner is free after posting a million-dollar cash bond. He has a hearing set for Thursday for those murder and manslaughter charges and he's due here in federal court for a hearing in that civil lawsuit on Tuesday.
 

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