Police Want $5,000-Plus to Release Records in Fatal ATV Crash

State police are attempting to block the release of records, including photos, reports and on scene video, related to an Aug. 26 police chase that resulted in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes — at least for now.

Grimes, of Detroit, was illegally riding an ATV on city streets when state police troopers spotted and tried to stop him. He fled.

Grimes lost control of his ATV, crashed into a pickup and died after allegedly being shot with a Taser by Trooper Mark Bessner. Bessner is accused of improperly firing his Taser at the teen through the open window of his patrol vehicle while amid the chase.

The incident led to the resignations of Bessner and two other troopers, according to federal court filings.

Monique Grimes, the teen’s mother, is now suing the trooper for more than $50 million.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger is calling the death of a 15-year-old, who allegedly attempted to flee Michigan state police while riding an all-terrain vehicle in Detroit, a “drive-by.”

The Fieger Law Firm, whose attorneys are representing Monique Grimes, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for public records related to the case.

Michigan state police didn’t deny the request, but responded with what U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain referred to as an “astronomical” bill for $5,331.20 in order to process the request.

Rather than pay the invoice, the attorneys attempted another avenue to obtain the records. They filed for what is called a “rule 45 subpoena,” to force the court-ordered release of the records.

State police then asked the judge to block the subpoena, claiming several reasons, one of which being that release of the records could impede the ongoing criminal investigation.

State police want to block release of any records until after the criminal investigation and resulting proceedings conclude. That means, if criminal charges are filed, no records would be released until the conclusion of ant criminal court cases.

Law enforcement agencies and prosecutors regularly block media from obtaining public records related to ongoing criminal investigations.

The state police “originally agreed to produce the subject information, albeit with an astronomical price tag, thus its reliance on the ongoing investigation seems suspect,” Gershwin wrote in his Nov. 28 order.

Gershwin said, since there are no formal criminal proceedings underway, and no indication criminal charges are likely, he would not block the subpoena entirely.

He issued a stay until Dec. 31, which means no records are likely to be be released before that time, when the judge could extend the stay, decide to block the subpoena or force the release of the records.

The death of Grimes is being investigated by the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office, state police and Detroit police.

While the reasons aren’t always clear, death investigations involving police regularly take longer than those involving civilians.

Source: http://www.mlive.com/news/detroit/index.ssf/2017/11/state_police_fight_release_of.html

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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5622 posts

Filming Cops was started in 2010 as a conglomerative blogging service documenting police abuse. The aim isn’t to demonize the natural concept of security provision as such, but to highlight specific cases of State-monopolized police brutality that are otherwise ignored by traditional media outlets.

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