Trial Begins For Trooper Who Fired Taser In Teen’s ATV Death

EX-MSP trooper Mark Bessner,left, sits with his attorney Richard Convertino before he was arraigned Thursday Dec. 21, 2017 in the death of a 15-year-old riding on an atv by Magistrate Bari Blake Wood in 36th District Court in Detroit.

DETROIT – Opening statements are planned Tuesday in the murder trial of a former state trooper accused of firing a Taser at a Detroit teen who died.

A jury was seated Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court to hear the case against Mark Bessner, charged with second-degree murder in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes. The teen was joyriding on an all-terrain vehicle when the trooper fired his stun gun. He crashed into a parked car and died.

According to State Police, troopers assigned to the MSP Metro South Post, Detroit Secure Cities Partnership attempted to stop Grimes for reckless driving on the 4-wheeler on Aug. 26, 2017. 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 from the moving patrol car, striking the teen. At Gratiot Ave., Grimes lost control of the ATV and crashed into the back of a pickup truck. He was pronounced dead at a local hospital.

Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Bessner created a “very high risk of death.” State police officials described his actions as criminal.

Bessner’s lawyer says he was forced to make a split-second decision when Grimes refused to stop the ATV.

Bessner was suspended, then resigned from the police force following Grimes’ death. He faces possible life in prison if convicted.

Meantime, a $50 million civil lawsuit by the Grimes family is pending against Bessner, accusing him of excessive force.


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Filming Cops
Filming Cops 5618 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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