One year later, remembering teen killed during traffic stop


EATON COUNTY, MI (WLNS)- It’s been one year since a Grand Ledge teenager was shot and killed during a traffic stop by an Eaton County Sheriff’s Sergeant.

6 News takes a look back at what happened that night.

Audio from the body-camera on February 28th 2015 shows:

Frost: “Driver’s license, registration and proof of insurance?”

Guilford:” I do not have my license”

On February 28th, 2015, Eaton County Sergeant Jonathon Frost pulled over, 17 year old Deven Guilford for flashing his high beams.

The incident was recorded both by Guilford’s cell phone, and by Sergeant Frost’s body-camera.

After Guilford refuses to give police his licensee.

Frost tells Guilford to get out of the car.

Frost has a taser in his hand, and Guilford continues to record with his cell phone.

The situation quickly escalates.

Audio from the body-camera on February 28th 2015 shows:

Frost: “Arms out to the side!”

Guilford: “I don’t have a weapon!”

Frost: “Hey, son get your hands behind your back! You are under arrest!”

Frosts tazes Guilford.

Guilford and Frost fight on the ground and it ends with gun-shots.

Deven is shot 7 times, and Frost is hospitalized with bruising on his eyes and a cut on his forehead.

After an internal and external investigation Sergeant Frost’s name was cleared.

Still Guilford’s family is left unsettled, with many questions as to why the situation ended in his death.

In his honor, they host “Justice for Deven” rallies, the latest was just this weekend, on the eve of the anniversary. According to the family, their main message is for police accountability.

“Police officers need to be accountable for actions. That’s got to change with the law enforcement.” Aaron Guilford Deven Guilford’s brother said at the “Justice for Deven” rally on Saturday.

Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich is also speaking out on the anniversary of Guilford’s death, below is a section of his statement.

“I feel from my heart for them as a father, and for what they went through and are continuing to feel. I understand their grief and there is nothing I can say or do to lessen it. But it is important for all of us to remember that the MI State Police conducted a thorough independent investigation of the incident and the Eaton County Prosecutor concluded that our Sergeant acted lawfully in self-defense. That is a hard thing for this family to live with and I understand that.”

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