DETROIT (WJBK) - The family of a boy killed while running from police on an ATV in Detroit has file a $50 million lawsuit against the Michigan State Trooper.
Geoffrey Fieger has filed a $50 million lawsuit on behalf of the family of 15-year-old Demond Grimes.
Grimes died Saturday when troopers chased the ATV in Detroit. Michigan State Police say a trooper involved in the crash deployed a Taser on the boy before he crashed.
Police said the boy crashed when he tried to drive off the road, lost control, and then crashed into a pickup truck.
The family disputes that claim and believes the trooper ran into the back of the driver, causing him to fly off the ATV and hit the truck.
"My understanding is he may have a series of incidents that have followed him around so this situation is not an isolated incident," Fieger said.
The Medical Examiner ruled on Tuesday that he died from blunt force trauma and ruled his death an accident. Fieger is having a second autopsy done.
"I've asked Doctor Smitts to pay close attention to both the entry of the taser darts, what effect they would have on the heart.
He made that announcement when he announced the $50 million lawsuit against the state trooper, citing excessive force and gross negligence. A government agency can't be sued, so Fieger and the family are suing the officer.
"As a result, we can only sue the police officer. We cannot sue the entity. We cannot sue the Michigan State Police Department. We cannot sue the State of Michigan, but we can under 1983 sue the individual officer and the State of Michigan defends the individual officer, and would ultimately be responsible for payment for it."
There is dashcam of the incident but Fieger says until he sees it, he's hesitant to call what happend a police chase.
"What I can only describe as a drive by shooting of a child on an ATV. Under no circumstances should no police officer ever at any time, any place, anywhere, shoot like a cowboy out of his vehicle which is my understanding of what he did," he said. "It had to be at or equal to where Desmond was to shoot him out of the window. It couldn't have been much of a chase."
Michigan State Police Lt. Mike Shaw says the agency is moving forward with the investigation and could not comment on any civil process at this time.
Family and friends will gather at the corner of Gratiot and Rossini Wednesday night at 8:30 to remember the young boy.
The crash is still under investigation. The trooper has been suspended.