'It took nearly nine months and several petitions by the Detroit Free Press until Michigan State Police (MSP) and Detroit Police allowed the body camera and dash camera footage to be released showing the minutes leading up to and the hours following the tasing murder of Damon Grimes by MSP Trooper Mark Bessner. The 16 hours of recordings show the horror, outrage, and insensitive comments made by many officers on the scene. One video even recorded the moment of his death. Earlier this year, Bessner was finally convicted for his actions and now the family has received $12 million in a settlement to receive some final closure.
No amount of money will every repair the damage by this officer but the large amount shows just how at-fault officials actually were in the death of Damon.
“I am sad for the family; no amount of money is going to make up for it,” attorney Geoffrey Fieger saidFriday. “But it’s a substantial enough of a settlement that it really sends a message to the citizens and the police that this kind of behavior is intolerable.”
After the settlement was announced, State Police spokeswoman Lori Dougovito released a statement apologizing to the Grimes family.
“Damon Grimes’ death is a tragedy that could have been avoided if not for the criminal and unforgivable actions of a former MSP trooper,” she said. “The MSP recognizes that while this monetary settlement does not change how this has affected the Grimes family, it may help to begin to bring some closure. The MSP sincerely apologizes to everyone impacted by this senseless act and we have prioritized working with our troopers and the community to avoid this from happening again.”
Last year, Bessner was charged with second-degree murder for tasering the teen on the ATV. In April, a jury convicted him of the lesser charge of involuntary manslaughter, despite the horrific nature of the incident.
“There can be no question that Mark Bessner knew that (he) was going to cause some serious harm to Damon Grimes,” assistant prosecutor Matthew Penney told jurors at the time.'
Read more: Family Gets $12m After Video Showed Cop Taser Son Riding ATV—from Patrol Car—Killing Him
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