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Vigil for teen killed while fleeing police turns to protest

detroit police car
Steve Carmody
Michigan Radio

Police were forced to temporarily close a Detroit street last night as a crowd protested the death of a teenager who crashed an all-terrain vehicle after a state trooper shocked him with a Taser.

The protest began as a vigil started for 15-year-old Damon Grimes at the east side intersection where the crash occurred.

Michigan Radio's Kate Wells described the incident:

Around 5:30 on Saturday afternoon, state police troopers assigned to a post in Detroit’s 9th precinct saw an ATV four wheeler driving recklessly, a spokesman said. They turned around to pursue the driver, with lights and siren on, but the driver didn’t stop for six city blocks while heading east along Rossini towards Gratiot Avenue. At some point during this pursuit, a white trooper shot the teenage driver with a Taser. The ATV driver ... attempted to drive onto a sidewalk, but crashed into the back of a pickup truck. Police say they immediately administered first aid, but the teen was pronounced dead at the hospital.

More than 200 people gathered along Gratiot Avenue. Some shouted obscenities at police. No arrests were made and no one was ticketed.

State police have said troopers tried to stop the ATV Saturday for reckless driving but the driver refused. They said he tried to drive off the road, before crashing into a pickup truck.

Prosecutors are investigating the case. The trooper has been suspended.

A $50 million civil lawsuit has been filed against the trooper. The lawsuit filed Wednesday in federal court accuses the trooper of excessive force. Attorney Geoffrey Fieger says the teen wasn't armed and didn't pose a threat to police.

The Associated Press is an independent global news organization dedicated to factual reporting.
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