MSP troopers to stop vehicle chases in Detroit in certain cases

Michigan State Police has instituted a new policy for troopers within Detroit city limits that prevents them from engaging in vehicle pursuits in certain cases.

MSP says it is re-assessing its pursuit policy and until the review is finished, troopers who are patrolling in the City of Detroit are prohibited from engaging in vehicle pursuits results from a traffic violation or misdemeanor offenses.

The policy will be in effect immediately.

MSP's policy only applies for vehicle chases within Detroit city limits. MSP's current policy requires troopers to weigh the hazard presented by the offender against the risk of a pursuit.

The change in policy comes the same week that a 15-year-old boy riding an ATV died during a chase where a MSP trooper deployed a Taser on the boy before the ATV crashed. A $50 million lawsuit has been filed against the trooper.

MSP did not say if the policy change was related to the accident. However, minutes after MSP announced the change in policy, Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan released a statement connecting the two together and praising the change:

"Our hearts go out to the family and friends of Damon Grimes. I fully support Chief Craig’s decision to have the Detroit Police Department conduct an independent investigation into the events leading up to his death. DPD will be presenting its findings to Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy.

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.  The Detroit Police Department policy is not to engage in high speed chases for traffic offenses or misdemeanors. In the case of felonies, the decision to continue a high speed chase is made by a supervisor.

I met with Governor Snyder and urged the State Police to adopt the City of Detroit’s policy when patrolling in our city. I also spoke with State Representative Sheldon Neely (D) of Flint and expressed my full support for his proposed legislation to require Michigan State Police abide by local pursuit policies when patrolling within the boundaries of a city.

I am encouraged that MSP leadership is taking steps towards changing its policy. Chief Craig and the Detroit Police Department will continue to work with them to ensure that safe policing procedures are followed in the city of Detroit. "