The lawyer for Damon Grimes' family says that they will receive a $12 million settlement. Of this $12 million, close to $4 million will go to legal fees, leaving the family with $7.8 million.
"We hope this kind of money will act as a deterrent, but unfortunately it rarely does," Geoffrey Fieger, a lawyer for the family, said.
This is the largest settlement that the Michigan State Police Department has paid for a single incident, according to Fieger. A judge still has to approve the agreement, but Fieger believes that there is nothing that would stop the court from processing the settlement.
In August 2017, Damon, 15, was spotted by police riding an ATV in a residential area of Detroit. The police followed Damon and asked him to pull over. When he didn't immediately comply, officer Mark Bessner shot him with a taser out of the passenger side of the pursuing patrol car. The tasing caused Grimes to crash into the back of a parked truck. He died shortly after the accident.
Bessner was suspended by the state police following the incident after the department found that he "undisputedly acted outside of MSP policy and training" by firing his taser at Grimes. Eventually, Bessner retired and was criminally charged with Grimes' death. After the first trial ended with a hung jury in 2018, Bessner was convicted of involuntary manslaughter in 2019. He was sentenced to five to 15 years in prison.