Ex-trooper explains why he tased teen before fatal crash

DETROIT (AP) — A former Michigan state trooper whose use of a Taser preceded the death of a 15-year-old Detroit boy says he “absolutely” believed the teen was armed and was “shocked” to learn there was no gun.

Mark Bessner testified in his own defense Thursday at his second-degree murder trial. He insisted that he believed Damon (da-MAHN’) Grimes was reaching for a gun in his waist while he drove an all-terrain vehicle on a Detroit street in 2017.

Grimes crashed the ATV and died after he was struck by Bessner’s Taser.

Bessner got emotional on the witness stand, saying it was a “terrible tragedy.” He told jurors: “All I could think of was that this family had lost their son.”

Prosecutors say Bessner’s use of the Taser was unreasonable . He quit the state police after the incident.