DETROIT (WWJ) – The Michigan State Trooper accused of using a taser on a 15-year-old ATV driver in late August has resigned from the force, while two other troopers have been suspended for their role in the death of Damon Grimes.
In a separate investigation, Detroit Police are also looking into allegations that a state police sergeant threw out evidence from the scene. It’s not clear if the act was intentional or accidental.
A state police spokesperson told the Detroit News that Trooper Mark Bessner submitted his resignation September 22, nearly a month after he was suspended, but offered no further explanation. An internal investigation also resulted in the suspension of two other state troopers, but again no further details were provided.
Charges could be filed against the sergeant accused of discarding evidence, the driver of a state police patrol car and Bessner, who fired the stun gun.
According to State Police, troopers assigned to the MSP Metro South Post, Detroit Secure Cities Partnership attempted to stop Grimes for recklessly driving his ATV 4-wheeler. The troopers activated their emergency lights and siren, but Grimes refused to stop, police said, leading troopers in a pursuit eastbound on Rossini.
At some point during the chase, Bessner deployed a Taser, striking the teen. At Gratiot Ave., Grimes lost control of the ATV, driving off the roadway and onto the sidewalk before crashing into the back of a pickup truck. The teen was pronounced dead at a local hospital.
Following the incident, Bessner’s attorney spoke out on his behalf, stating the trooper “was forced to make a split-second decision under circumstances.”
Meantime, a $50 million civil lawsuit has been filed against Bessner, accusing him of excessive force.
State police have since temporarily suspended patrols in Detroit’s 9th precinct, one of the most crime-ridden areas of the city, where the incident happened.