MSP trooper who fired Taser before fatal ATV crash has resigned

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Image courtesy: FOX 2 Detroit

DETROIT (AP) — A Michigan State Police trooper has resigned after firing his Taser at a 15-year-old Detroit boy who subsequently crashed an all-terrain vehicle and died, and he could still face criminal charges, police said Tuesday.

Mark Bessner resigned Sept. 22 and two other state police employees were suspended Sept. 26 in connection with the death of Damon Grimes, state police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said in an email. Bessner had been suspended amid an ongoing investigation.

“Our investigators do feel the investigation supports criminal charges, but that decision will ultimately be made by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office,” Banner wrote.

Bessner’s lawyer has said his client made a split-second decision under tough circumstances. The Associated Press sent the lawyer an email seeking further comment Tuesday.

Grimes’ Aug. 26 death prompted protests and a $50 million lawsuit from his family.

State police began submitting information from the investigation to the prosecutor’s office on Friday, Banner said. She said “some pieces” are still being sought to complete the investigation, which is nearly complete.

Banner didn’t detail what prompted the other suspensions, but told The Detroit News on Monday for a report about Bessner’s resignation that the suspensions were “appropriate” based on the agency’s investigation.

Following Grimes’ death, state police announced that troopers would no longer conduct high-speed chases in Detroit in response to traffic violations or misdemeanors.

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