Former Michigan officer Mark Bessner who was charged with murdering 15-year-old Damon Grimes apparently has a history of “skirting” department rules. Back in June, officer Bessner was in pursuit of the teen who was illegally riding his ATV through a residential neighborhood. The officer, who decided go above the policies set forth by his department, shot his Taser gun from the window of the moving vehicle at Grimes, causing him to fall from the moving vehicle. The injuries Grimes sustained from the fall led to his death.
But, according to Michigan State Police, “it is against protocol to fire a stun gun from a moving vehicle” [Source: Detroit Metro Times]. While Bessner neglected to follow the rules in this case, incidents from the past have surfaced that have revealed that he has a “history of using his stun gun inappropriately.” The incidents stem all the way to 2014 when Bessner fired his stun gun at a suspect who was handcuffed during a traffic stop even though the department he worked for forbid its officers from firing a Taser at anyone in handcuffs. As a form of punishment, Bessner was given a five-day suspension which was then reduced to one day.
Then, in 2016, Bessner fired his Taser at a suspect who was also in handcuffs. Although the suspect was fleeing from police, Bessner proceeded to shoot the suspect with his Taser, yet another rule broken. Although the department attempted to have the officer serve a 10-day suspension, “an arbitrator ruled there was “no just cause” for the proposed suspension.” And 2017 marked yet another time the officer managed to get off the hook without having to serve any real consequence for his misconduct. Bessner allegedly was traveling at a high speed without his lights or sirens on, yet managed to “skirt” passed being punished for this offense as well.
And because he got away with the misconduct in all those instances mentioned above without being reprimanded for his inappropriate behavior, he continued to break protocol which has now led to criminal charges being filed against him.
Bessner decided to resign in the fall after Grimes’ death although the charges against him are still pending. His act of police brutality is not only frowned upon because he failed to follow protocol, but it is also being viewed by some as a potential case of racism.
The Michigan State Police department has been and still is under high scrutiny for diversity issues. According to Detroit News, “the Michigan State University trooper recruit school graduated only 10 black students out of a 127-member class. The class also had three Hispanic and three mixed-race students — 111 were white.” It is clear that there is an underlying issue that lies within the department as Bessner managed to get away with not one, not two, not even three but four cases of police misconduct where he caused someone to suffer or posed as a threat to society.
Perhaps this is one of the reasons why police brutality has grown into the issue it is today. Officers get away with several acts of misconduct never to be faced with any serious consequences for their inappropriate behavior.
But, the only way to hold an officer accountable for their misbehavior is to discuss your matter with a police brutality lawyer in Detroit, Michigan. They can provide you with the types of legal recourse you can take and the various parties you can hold accountable for the officer’s misconduct. USAttorneys.com will gladly connect you with a local Detroit police misconduct lawyer now in the event you need legal assistance.