Justice for the family of 15-year-old Damon Grimes has moved one step forward. Michigan’s Wayne County prosecutor announced a murder charge against the former Michigan state trooper who shot Grimes with a Taser and caused the teen to crash his ATV, The Detroit Free Press reported.
Trooper Mark Bessner “unnecessarily deployed his Taser at Mr. Grimes without legal justification or excuse as Mr. Grimes was traveling at least 35 to 40 miles per hour,” said Kym Worthy, the Wayne County prosecutor. She added that Bessner, 43, is charged with one count of second-degree murder and two counts of involuntary manslaughter for the Aug. 26 incident in Detroit.
Bessner and his partners said they tried to pull over Grimes to issue a traffic citation. But the teenager drove offer, and the officer pursued him. Bessner fired his Taser, which hit Grimes and caused him to crash into a parked truck. Bessner violated the state police policy against deploying a Taser from a moving vehicle. Worthy will argue in court that Bessner, who retired after the incident, knew that firing at the teenager created a high death risk situation.
The Michigan State Police issued an apology to Grimes’ family, calling Bessner’s actions “criminal in nature” and adding that he deserves punishment. But the teen’s mother, Monique Grimes, rejected the apology and said she would rather have justice. “I miss him every day. He was only 15. He had his life ahead of him,” she said at a news conference in her attorney’s office. The family has filed a $50 million lawsuit. If convicted on the second-degree murder charge, Bessner faces up to life in prison.
SOURCE: Detroit Free Press