Deven Guilford’s family responds to prosecutor’s decision

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EATON COUNTY, MI (WLNS) – After Eaton County prosecutor Doug Lloyd revealed there will be no charges against an officer who shot a teen, the teen’s family is responding.

Back in February an Eaton County Sheriff’s sergeant shot 17-year-old Devin Guilford.  Prosecutor Lloyd says that during a traffic stop Guilford did not have his driver’s license. The officer repeatedly asked for his license before telling Guilford he was under arrest and to get out of the car. That’s when prosecutor Lloyd says Guilford and the sergeant began fighting. The sergeant tased Guilford, prior to the taser getting lost in the snow.

As the fight continued, prosecutor Lloyd says the sergeant drew his weapon and placed it against Guilford’s chest. When the officer pulled the trigger, the gun jammed. The officer fixed the gun and then fired seven shots. All seven shots hit Guilford, killing him.

On Tuesday prosecutor Doug Lloyd said there will be no charges against the sergeant, who was injured during the struggle with Guilford and ended up hospitalized.

Guilford’s family responded Tuesday afternoon in a statement, saying they “will pursue other remedies to vindicate Deven’s civil rights.”

Full statement from the family of Deven Guilford:“Around 8:00pm on February 28, 2015, our 17 year old son and brother, Deven Guilford, was killed as a result of being shot seven times by Eaton County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Jonathan Frost. At the time, Deven was merely traveling to his girlfriend’s house after playing basketball at his church. Deven was stopped by the officer because Deven flashed his bright lights to alert the oncoming officer that his brights appeared to be on. Notably, Deven was the third person that the officer had pulled over that night for flashing brights at the officer, who was driving a brand new police vehicle with high-intensity head-lights. During this traffic stop, it appears that Deven was puzzled and confused about why he was pulled over and why he was being confronted by the officer. It appears that the officer did not make any reasonable inquiry of Deven that could have helped ease the tensions of the situation.The Eaton County Prosecutor, after reviewing the investigation by the Michigan State Police has determined to not bring any criminal charges against Sgt. Frost. Based on what we know at this time, our family believes that our son should not have been killed on the night in question.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. These options could have included, keeping Deven in the car to allow more time for the incident to cool down and/or wait for other officers to arrive. It must be also noted that Deven was not in possession or 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. In this regard, there are questions about whether Deven should have been tased on the side of the roadway and whether the officer had the right to shoot and kill Deven in these circumstances. Ultimately, we encourage those want more information about the encounter to view the full video of the traffic stop leading up to the physical altercation between Deven and the officer. This video is available through the Michigan State Police Department and the Eaton County Prosecutor’s office. We believe this video raises more questions than answers regarding whether Deven should be alive today.We respect the thoroughness of the investigation and the Prosecutor’s decision. However, we intend to pursue other remedies to vindicate Deven’s civil rights.”

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