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Michigan State Police "reassessing its pursuit policy" after teen killed in Detroit

Joe Ross
Flickr - http://j.mp/1SPGCl0
A Michigan State Police car.

The Michigan State Police is “reassessing its pursuit policy” after a chase resulted in the death of a Detroit teen.

Fifteen-year-old Damon Grimes died after crashing his all-terrain vehicle on Detroit’s east side last Saturday.

Grimes was being chased by state troopers at the time. One trooper, while still in his patrol car, deployed a Taser on the teen prior to the crash.

A vigil for Damon Grimes last night turned into a protest

Firing a taser from a patrol car is against state police policy. The state trooper has been suspended.

But state police now say they’re also reviewing department policy on vehicle pursuits in general. While that happens, state troopers on patrol in Detroit have been ordered to follow what’s already standard policy for Detroit Police Department officers — not to engage in high-speed pursuits “resulting from a traffic violation or misdemeanor offense.”

Here's the full statement from the state police:

The Michigan State Police is in the process of re-assessing its pursuit policy, known as Official Order 10. While the policy is under review, the department has announced that, effectively immediately, troopers patrolling in the City of Detroit will be prohibited from engaging in vehicle pursuits resulting from a traffic violation or misdemeanor offense. This policy change will be in effect until Official Order 10 is revised.

At this time, this policy change only applies to vehicle pursuits within the City of Detroit. However, all MSP enforcement members have been reminded that current policy requires our members to weigh the hazard presented by the violator against the risk created by the pursuit in all instances, as well as several other factors to be considered before engaging in or continuing a vehicle pursuit.

Detroit Mayor Mike Duggan says he’s “encouraged” by the state police “taking steps toward changing” its policy.

Duggan also voiced support for an "independent" Detroit Police investigation into Grimes’ death.

Sarah Cwiek joined Michigan Public in October 2009. As our Detroit reporter, she is helping us expand our coverage of the economy, politics, and culture in and around the city of Detroit.
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