A Sheriff’s sergeant in Eaton County Michigan will face no charges after shooting and killing a seventeen year old for not complying with a traffic stop, despite the fact that he had committed no crime whatsoever.
The shocking incident happened back in February and was captured on police body camera and partially on cell phone by Deven Guilford, who was ripped out of his vehicle, tased and then shot seven times by Sgt. Jonathan Frost.
The stop occurred after Deven flashed his lights at Frost, believing that the sergeant had his high beams on, and it would be a danger to other drivers.
During the confrontation that ensued, Frost admitted that two other drivers had also flashed their lights at him and that his headlights were brand new, and we’re probably too bright.
Despite this, Frost turned the tables on Deven and demanded that he provide his license, registration and insurance details.
When Deven asked to see the officer’s badge, Frost refused. Deven refused to give Frost the documents, maintaining that he had broken no law. When Deven asked if he was being detained, Frost replied in the affirmative, stating that Deven was being held for not complying with the traffic stop.
After several minutes of refusing to provide the documents, Deven was pulled out of the vehicle by Frost and ordered to get on the ground.
Deven attempted to continue filming the ordeal, which further angered Frost who whipped out a taser and shocked the young man in an attempt to force compliance.
The camera footage cuts out at this point, but audio can still be heard. The video ends with Frost firing seven shots, with a fatal shot to the head. Deven’s anguished scream as he is killed by Frost is deeply disturbing to hear.
Frost later claimed that Deven, an unarmed and clearly non-aggressive seventeen year old kid who had just been tased, attacked the officer, managing to get on top of Frost and punch him in the face, causing him to fear for his life.
The Sergeant did suffer cuts and bruises to his face, X-rays showed no fractures.
This week, Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd said he reviewed the investigation by Michigan State Police, as well as the video footage, and concluded that the sergeant acted lawfully.
“No one wins in these particular situations, but it’s the prosecutor’s responsibility to look at the facts, make a determination from the facts — was there a crime or was there not a crime?” Lloyd said.
Following the decision, the Guilford family, who plan to file a civil lawsuit in federal court, released the following statement:
“There was no reason or necessity for the officer to physically remove our son from the car without considering other options to avoid an unnecessary violent escalation. It must be also noted that Deven was not in possession (of) any weapon and emphatically told the officer that he was not armed. We also have serious concerns about whether the officer used unreasonable force against Deven under the circumstances.”
“The family is very unhappy,” said Attorney Hugh Davis. “It’s just very hard to go from dimming lights or not dimming lights to being dead.”
The fact that Frost did not wait for backup and opted to escalate the situation by forcing Deven out of the car, has further prompted the family to fight the case.
For the record, It was determined that Deven’s license was with his girlfriend, and toxicology results showed that he had the active ingredient in marijuana in his system at the time of the stop.