Jury deliberates in Grimes’ case, Schuette neglects office, Whitmer leads: Your Tuesday morning briefing

Damn Grimes on an ATV. Photo via the family.

“Morning Briefing” is a new feature in Motor City Muckraker to keep you informed as we add award-winning reporters to our independent newsroom that soon will be a nonprofit watchdog. Your donations are key to our ability to produce more vigorous, meaningful, nonpartisan journalism at a time when news rooms are cutting back on impactful, investigative stories.

These are the top stories you’re waking up to:

Jury deliberates in case against state trooper who killed teen

State Police Trooper Mark Bessner

A jury began deliberations Monday in the case against a state police trooper who caused the death of a Detroit teenager by tasering him while he fled cops on an ATV.

Trooper Mark Bessner violated state police policy by deploying his Taser at a moving vehicle.

Damon Grimes, 15, was killed when the Taser caused him to crash into the rear of a pickup on Aug. 26, 2017.

Grimes was unarmed, but Bessner claimed he feared for his life and believed the teen might have a gun. No evidence of a weapons was found.

Bessner was charged with second-degree murder and manslaughter.

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Schuette neglects Detroit campaign office

Attorney General Bill Schuette

Bill Schuette, the Republican candidate for Michigan governor, has abandoned his Detroit campaign office in the North End.

Political consultant Graham Davis brought attention to the shuttered storefront at 9033 Woodward on Twitter, and The Metro Times followed up with a story.

“The door is locked — gated, in fact,” The Metro Times wrote. “Chairs are empty. Cookies have been left uneaten. Poorly drawn poster boards festoon the otherwise barren walls. A message of hope is draped over a shuttered storefront. Next door is an overgrown, barricaded children’s playscape.”

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Whitmer holds double-digit lead over Schuette

Gretchen Whitmer

The latest poll shows Democrat Gretchen Whitmer holding a strong lead over Republican Bill Schuette in the race for Michigan governor.

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Whitmer held a 12% lead, according to an Oct. 25-27 poll conducted by The Detroit News and WDIV

And there’s more good news for Democrats: Sen. Debbie Stabenow is leading her Republican opponent John James 53%-36%, the same poll shows.

The general election is Nov. 6.

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Steve Neavling

Steve Neavling lives and works in Detroit as an investigative journalist. His stories have uncovered corruption, led to arrests and reforms and prompted FBI investigations.