DETROIT – A Michigan State Police trooper has been suspended for his actions during a pursuit which led to a deadly ATV crash Saturday in Detroit.
Demond Grimes, 15, was killed when he crashed the ATV about 5:30 p.m. Saturday at Rossini Drive and Gratiot Avenue on the city's east side. State police said the troopers attempted to stop the teen for reckless driving.
Detroit police launch investigation
Detroit police Chief James Craig said the department will launch an independent investigation.
"I am not a proponent of high-speed chases involving traffic infractions, or those involving misdemeanors," Craig said.
Craig said the investigation in no way negatively reflects on MSP, but that a situation such as this warrants an independent investigation.
"The troopers activated their emergency lights and siren, but the ATV driver refused to stop. The troopers pursued the ATV east on Rossini, and as the ATV approached Gratiot Avenue, the driver attempted to drive off the roadway onto the sidewalk, but crashed into the rear of a pickup truck," a statement from Michigan State Police reads.
The DPD investigation is just getting started, as there are many questions still to answer.
Trooper deployed Taser before crash
State police said a preliminary examination has revealed the trooper deployed his Taser during the pursuit, striking Grimes prior to the crash.
An MSP spokesperson told Local 4 it is an "absolute violation of policy" to fire a Taser during a pursuit.
Detectives continue to investigate the crash, state police said. The case will be turned over to the Wayne County Prosecutor's Office once the investigation is complete.
Neighbors shocked by death
Residents said the neighborhood hasn't had a problem with children driving ATV's on roads.
"We stay in this area, and it was never a problem," said Sargent Beasley, a friend of the victim. "Now all of a sudden a state trooper has chased him, and now he comes up dead."
Witnesses said the trooper pulled close to the ATV and fired his Taser during the chase, and they believe it might have caused Grimes to crash.
"He was riding, and he went tense, like this," a witness said. "That was it. As soon as he did that, he lost control and flipped over."
For family and friends of Grimes, there is no consoling the grief.
"He didn't do nothing to nobody," Beasley said. "He didn't deserve this."
"This is a nightmare," said Kimberley Powell, the victim's aunt. "This is a complete nightmare for my family. We're just keeping in prayer. We're just asking for God. That's the only person who can get us through this right now."