Family lawyer fights state for info in ATV death
An attorney for the family of Damon Grimes, the 15-year-old ATV driver who died in a crash after a state police crew chased him and stunned him with a Taser, claimed Tuesday the state is withholding information in a federal lawsuit.
A lawyer for the Michigan Attorney General’s Office, which is representing the state police in the Aug. 26 incident, countered the matter should be put on hold for 90 days to allow Wayne County prosecutors to decide whether to charge the troopers with crimes.
Meanwhile, U.S. District Judge Gershwin A. Drain questioned why two criminal investigations into Grimes’ death are taking so long.
“I’m a little disturbed about the delay in getting a decision on prosecution,” Drain said during a hearing Tuesday. “It’s not that complicated of a case. It’s pretty straightforward. The convoluted.”
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police launched separate criminal investigations after Grimes’ death. State police say Grimes was driving his ATV illegally in the street and did not comply with their orders to stop.
Trooper Ethan Berger, who drove the police cruiser, chased Grimes. At one point during the pursuit, Berger’s partner, Mark Bessner, deployed his Taser, hitting Grimes, who plowed into a flatbed and died from blunt-force head injuries.
Assistant Wayne County Prosecutor Maria Miller said in an email Tuesday: “The Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office has not received the completed investigations from DPD and MSP yet. Until that happens we are not in a position to begin our independent investigation and review of this case.”
But Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Tuesday his detectives turned over the results of their investigation “three or four weeks ago.”
“During a briefing last week, we were told (prosecutors) are waiting for some forensic analysis to be returned, and they’re doing their own interviews of witnesses,” Craig said. “But as far as we’re concerned, we’ve turned the file over to them.”