A Michigan state police sergeant is under investigation for literally throwing important evidence into the trash in an investigation after an officer tased a teen, who then lost control of his ATV, crashed and died.. The trooper who tased the 15-year-old ATV driver has resigned, and two other officers involved in the incident have been suspended.
The state police sergeant is under investigation by Detroit police for allegedly throwing away evidence from the scene of that encounter that left 15-year-old Damon Grimes dead, reported The Detroit News.
The sergeant responded to the scene Aug. 26, picked up one of the stun gun’s wires and prongs, and later threw it away in a trash can at a state police post.
Investigators want to determine whether the sergeant was attempting to conceal evidence or was simply careless in tossing the evidence away. Sources told the Detroit News that the other stun gun wire used on Damon was collected at the scene and taken into evidence.
Michigan State Police spokeswoman Shanon Banner said Monday that Trooper Mark Bessner—the passenger in the patrol car—has resigned, and that two other state troopers involved in the incident have been suspended. She declined to identify those troopers or say what they had done
“We have started submitting our reports to the prosecutor’s office, and now we want to respect them and let them carry out their role in this process,” Banner said. “We have conducted a thorough investigation and we want to be as transparent as possible, but we need to let prosecutors review our investigation report.
“As a result of our investigation, we thought it was appropriate to suspend two other employees,” Banner added. “Another [Bessner] has chosen to resign.”
Bessner was suspended Aug. 28, two days after the incident, and he resigned Sept. 22. The other officers were suspended Sept. 26. All 3 suspensions were paid.
According to authorities, Damon was illegally riding an ATV in the streets around his neighborhood when troopers told him to stop. When he didn’t, Bessner stuck his stun gun out the window and shot it at Damon.
After being electrocuted by police, Damon crashed his ATV into a flatbed. According to the Wayne County Medical Examiner’s Office, he died of blunt-force head injuries.
Following the incident, investigations were launched by both state police and Detroit police.
According to the Detroit News, the incident caused the Michigan State Police to change its policy regarding vehicle pursuits. State police previously chased traffic violators and others committing nonviolent crimes, but the new policy requires officers to refrain from high-speed chases unless they are in pursuit of someone deemed to be a danger to the community.
(Article By Jeremiah Jones)