State Police Investigation Results in Criminal Charges Against Former Trooper

Contact: Shanon Banner, MSP Public Affairs Section, 517-284-3222, BannerS@michigan

December 20, 2017

On Aug. 26, 2017, a former Michigan State Police trooper, Mark Bessner, was involved in an incident that resulted in the death of 15-year-old Damon Grimes of Detroit. Today, based on the findings of a criminal investigation conducted by MSP detectives, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office is charging Bessner with one count of Second Degree Homicide and two counts of Involuntary Manslaughter.

“On behalf of the Michigan State Police, I offer my sincerest apologies to the family of Damon Grimes,” stated Col. Kriste Kibbey Etue, director of the MSP. “Troopers are not trained to do what Bessner did and we condemn his actions. His conduct was criminal in nature and deserving of the charges today authorized by Prosecutor Kim Worthy. Neither my apology nor these criminal charges will bring Damon back, but I hope they provide some amount of solace to his family.”

Two MSP members remain on suspension for their role in this incident. As announced today by Prosecutor Worthy, criminal charges will not be authorized against these members; however, an internal investigation will commence immediately.

Bessner, who was suspended on Aug. 28, resigned from the MSP on Sept. 22, 2017.