Eaton Co. prosecutor not filing charges against deputy in teen’s shooting death

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EATON COUNTY, Mich. - The Eaton County Prosecutor has decided to not press charges against a county deputy for tasering and shooting a 17-year-old seven times at a traffic stop in February.

The teen, Deven Guilford, died as a result of his injuries.

The  prosecutor made the decision Tuesday after a Michigan State Police investigation.  Guilford was not armed and apparently told the officer, Eaton County Deputy Sheriff Sgt. Jonathan Frost, during the incident that he wasn't armed.

Guilford's family says that Sgt. Frost pulled Guilford over for flashing his bright lights at the deputy, who was driving a new vehicle with high-intensity headlights.  During the stop, Frost removed Guilford from the car, used his taser on him, and shot him seven times.

Guilford's family says they respect the Prosecutor's decision but are pursuing other "remedies to vindicate Deven's civil rights."  They say the situation should not have escalated to the point of where Deven was killed.  The deputy was wearing a body camera and some of that video has been released, but the family is asking for the complete video.

The Eaton County Sheriff posted a statement on their Facebook page saying that Sgt. Frost is being restored to full patrol duties.  Their complete statement is below:

Since the night of February 28th, 2015 our hearts continue to go out to the Guilford Family and friends for the tragic loss of Devon Guilford.
As fathers, mothers, sisters, aunts, uncles, and friends to others we understand the heartache and grief in dealing with the sudden loss of a family member, loved one or co-worker. We also understand the emotions felt in the community. This was a tragic situation which will have a long term effect on everyone involved including all of us at the Eaton County Sheriff’s Office.
I requested the Michigan State Police to respond to the scene and conduct an independent investigation and I would like to thank them for the tremendous time, effort, and resources they devoted to conduct this thorough investigation.
I would also like to thank Prosecutor Doug Lloyd and his staff. We appreciate and respect the time intensive, independent process Prosecutor Lloyd and his office conducted in carefully reviewing all of the facts and circumstances resulting from the investigation and the conclusion that was reached.
As a result of these findings, Sgt. Frost will be restored to full patrol duties. We have not yet seen the investigative reports and upon obtaining them, we will diligently review them as part of an internal procedure.
Our thoughts and prayers will continue for the emotional healing of everyone involved and affected by this tragedy.

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69 comments

  • Terry Webster

    So flashing ones headlamps thinking someone else had their bright lights on instead of their low beams warrants this ???,.. being pulled over for it was the 1st mistake,.. tasering and then shooting was beyond a mistake,.. the lawlessness of he the law-keepers continues to baffle me,… and the prosecutor not following up / through with any filing of charges for these transgressions is beyond belief ! What the hell has happened to this nation ???????? smh !

    • Adam

      It was illegal to pull him out of his car! That’s breaking and entering without a warrwnt for arrest with judge YES WITH JUDGE AND KIDS LAWYER PRESENT according to our civil rights. And by common law it IS the officers responsibility to give his badge number if asked for it. A cop is a ducking public servent. He serves US ,he works for the citezens not AGAINST THEM. Also the kid under common law does not even need a fucking license or registration as he was not using his vehicle “for hire” which is transporting goods by horse drawn carriage or motor vehicle. If you are traveling freely u do not need a liscense or registration. Also the kid did NOT HAVE TO SAY ANYTHING. U have the right to remain silent it’s the first few words told to someone arrested. With a cop this high on how bad as he feels in uniform sadly the best thing the kid could of done was blown his brains out first. But then kid even though in fear of his life which obviously he should of been would of went to prison. But this fucking pos murderer cop don’t even get slap on wrist. This is so fucked up.

      • C Cook

        You need to open some law books instead of going by what you hear on tv shows and heresay. You have now clue as to how law enforcement works and what guidelines and laws we have to go by.

        • Diane Mixon

          I believe there was no reason not to wait for backup. The ifficer is nit usualky the esalator. Not the job for those not in control of emotions tempers etc. How can he control a situation he couldn’t even control himself unfit

  • Tracy Donaldson

    May this Young Man RIP .People are forgetting that the Officer did not know who he was dealing with to begin with as the kid never gave any paperwork the officer asked for.Next after not complying as the kid would not put the phone down or put his hands over his head while on the ground.He then Attacked the officer and was on top of him before the officer pulled his weapon and fired. This is not hear say it is the facts presented by the state police Videos and also the young mans family Attorneys .It is sad but it all could have been avoided by just giving his paperwork as requested.People forget Officers have the right to tell you to put things down or to do this or that.When we do not comply especially if the Officer is alone things can escalate quick. I have been stopped without my license on me I just did as requested and was let go yea with a ticket but I broke the law that we citizens ask of these Officers to uphold.

    • 1 kid dead

      Your reply is bs. Full video released. Officer removed from force if not imprisoned. Prosecutor’s office investigated by the state AG, if not US AG.

    • X

      Are you kidding me. How about the fact that a police officer is never suppose to shoot to kill. What happen to that rule. Also a police officer needs a reason to pull over a car. I never heard of flashing being a violation. And for those people siding with the cops. You just wait are rights are being taking away from us, and if we do not start speaking up now we will soon have none. I have personally seen what a human with a little of authority can turn into and what they can do to the people their suppose to protect. Also why was the cop alone they usually have two cars for a traffic stop? Why was it so important for the kid to lose his phone? I would advise anyone to record in situations just like that. We have the right to show the injustice that is going on cause we know damn well if you do not have evidence the citizen will be the one who did All wrong and the judge will side with the police officer if you are lucky enough to even go to court. A police officer is not jude, jury and prosecutor.

      • Everence

        People get pulled over for dumb reasons all the time and don’t get shot you know? The smart move is stow the attitude, be compliant to REASONABLE requests, take the ticket and live to fight another day. I’m sure looking back, this kid would have rather shelled out the cash for the “infraction” and potentially get it back after litigation. Instead he paid with his life. This attitude of zero compliance with police officers is dangerous and will lead to people being killed. Officers and anyone with common sense would apply deadly force if you knew you had a gun and were in a scuffle with someone who may have a concealed weapon (look up the “21 foot rule”). In the footage, the kid clearly charges the cop a few seconds after he was tasered for resisting arrest. The force of the tackle was enough to temporarily disables the microphone.

        See for yourself.

        http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8f9_1434573577

      • Kat

        Flashing your brights at someone is actually an infraction of MCL 256.700. Our driver’s training booklet even states the following:

        “It is illegal to use or even flash high-beam headlights within 500 feet of an oncoming vehicle.”

  • Jeffery F. Foster

    People are also passing judgement based on what they read in a reporters summary of events…hardly a way to objectively review what most would consider a serious and potentially complex event… Never mind the fact that most won’t be qualified to pass judgement objectively, rationally, logically and devoid of an emotionally clouded thought process.

  • kamosina

    before I saw the receipt that said $6276 , I did not believe …that…my mother in law was like trully making money part-time at there labtop. . there brothers friend has been doing this for only 8 months and as of now repayed the dept on their villa and got a Generate Cash Now

  • Mitch

    Why do the DA’s get away with protecting the criminal actions of the police. The judges are also complicit in this. Someday the people will decide that this should not happen and there might just be a few of these criminals meet their maker and try and explain why before they drop into hell.

  • Jack Resendes

    Good…! What the heck was he thinking or trying to prove…?
    How hard is it to obey police orders…?
    Kid was a punk. Sure, he didnt deserve to die, but he resisted. I bet we look further, there is some
    past behavior of being a royal punk..

    • marissa

      I will never understand why people blame the victims. A cop should be able to handle a mouthy teenager without a gun

      • Kat

        He stopped being a “mouth teenager” and became a violent threat when he attacked a police officer.

        The kid certainly didn’t deserve to die. But, conversely, Sgt. Frost does not deserve to be publicly crucified for acting in self defense.

        • Joe B

          Sgt. Frost could have avoided MURDERING the kid if he had waited for the backup that he requested. There was no need to (illegally) pull the kid out of his car. All he had to do was to be patient and wait a few minutes for backup. If Frost had waited, he might not have been prevented from taking matters into his own hands by more SANE officers. He could have issued a citation without any of what he made happen. But no, “he is a cop” and in a Police State, “authority must be obeyed at all times”. Of course the cop’s ego was more important than the kid’s life. That’s obvious to any moron who is a boot licker, right? “Paperz pleeze!!!” Sound familiar??

    • X

      See the bigger picture! Freedom of speech. Maybe we should shoot you for voicing your opinion. Also if the kid did attack the cop I doubt the cop was in danger of being killed. How did the kid even get up after being shocked? Don’t the cop usually put the cuffs on right after so the person can not do anything else. Excessive force is being become the norm for these cops.

      • Kat

        “The Taser was deployed too close to Deven’s body for the two prongs to separate at least four inches before attaching to him. Both prongs did not fully embed, as needed. The Taser “cycled” but likely did not shock Deven. Deven was only stung by the prong and possible minimal tasing, and reacted with immediate rage against Sgt. Frost. It did not incapacitate him so that Deven could be handcuffed.”

      • Kat

        “The Taser was deployed too close to Deven’s body for the two prongs to separate at least four inches before attaching to him. Both prongs did not fully embed, as needed. The Taser “cycled” but likely did not shock Deven. Deven was only stung by the prong and possible minimal tasing, and reacted with immediate rage against Sgt. Frost. It did not incapacitate him so that Deven could be handcuffed.”

  • TheKing

    As exceptional blogger Will has stated…. “if you haven’t learned to hate DAs yet, then you’re not paying attention!”

  • cmehere

    COMPLETE BS!!! This cop is a murderer!! He murdered that kid because of his freaking EGO!! He’ll rot in hell for what he’s done!

  • Everence

    People get pulled over for dumb reasons all the time and don’t get shot you know? The smart move is stow the attitude, be compliant to REASONABLE requests, take the ticket and live to fight another day. I’m sure looking back, this kid would have rather shelled out the cash for the “infraction” and potentially get it back after litigation. Instead he paid with his life. This attitude of zero compliance with police officers is dangerous and will lead to people being killed. Officers and anyone with common sense would apply deadly force if you knew you had a gun and were in a scuffle with someone who may have a concealed weapon (look up the “21 foot rule”). In the footage, the kid clearly charges the cop a few seconds after he was tasered for resisting arrest. The force of the tackle was enough to temporarily disables the microphone.

    See for yourself.

    http://www.liveleak.com/view?i=8f9_1434573577

    • Kat

      My brother was pulled over a couple weeks ago because the paint on the last couple digits on his license plate were beginning to flake off.

      He complied with the officer’s request for his license, registration, and proof of insurance, and guess what? Everyone walked away alive and well.

  • FRED C DOBBS

    I don’t see where Sgt Frost had any other choice in this matter, it was him or the boy…its as simple as that..

  • like i'd tell you murderers

    I feel sorry for you people in Michigan. I’d never live there. That cop straight up murdered that kid. Half the video still isn’t released, that’s just keeping people from rebelling. That poor kid was murdered by law enforcement. Y’all are fucking crazy to live there with those criminal murderers in blue. fuck that!

  • Joe B

    I found this article after seeing the excerpt of the body camera video on youtube. Knowing that the kid was shot to death by that p*ick for what transpired in that video literally made me sick to my stomach. Tasering and then shooting to death an unarmed teenager for what was revealed in that video, that he flashed his high beam lights, is a sick crime. Not prosecuting the sick f*ck that did the shooting is a sick crime. You people in Eaton County need to fire the prosecutor and the sheriff, and then you need to convene a grand jury to bring charges against that sick f*ck that shot the kid. I have a son who is 16 and is polite and articulate, like Devon was in the video, and who also might as the same questions. I hope to God he is never pulled over by a power crazed, sick sociopath like Sgt. Frost, who even admitted in the video that his lights were “brighter than a normal car”. WTF?! Man, Frost, you are one sick puppy and I hope Devon gets justice for being killed by the likes of you.

  • Cory Cook

    Brighter than normal” headlights aren’t illegal. Most newer cars come with HID’s that are brighter than standard halogen bulbs. Just because the pothead thought the lights were on ‘high’ beam doesn’t mean the officer broke any laws.

    • Joe B

      The fact that the officer himself said he’d pulled over 3 cars that night for the SAME REASON should have been a clue to someone in his profession that his lights might be being perceived as being on the “high” setting. Of course, the police would never admit to the use any kind of deception to issue citations, and of course police departments never have ticket quotas. And of course, unarmed people who resist arrest should all simply be shot to death. How dare they not bend their knees to Authority!!? Imagine how personally insulted poor Sgt. Frost must have felt by Deven’s lack of complete subservience. It must have really pissed him off, ya think? Is that what public servants are being paid for? Getting pissed off enough, personally, to escalate a traffic stop, arguably a BOGUS traffic stop, into murder?

      As for breaking laws, the last time I looked unprovoked Assault and Murder are both illegal. Oh, oh, wait, this is a cop we’re talking about here. Never mind. Nothing to see here. Move along…

      • Cory Cook

        You seem to forget the kid failed to comply with orders NUMEROUS times before finally being taken out of the vehicle. When I was in the police academy, we were taught three ways to gain compliance. Ask, Tell, Make. One way or another, you’re going to comply. But NOOOOO, he wanted to be a YouTube tough-guy and try and act like he was above the law. The only one who escalated anything is the one who is now worm food. Had he acted like a civilized human being, cooperated and done what was politely asked of him, he would have gotten a warning and been on his way to continue smoking weed and doing as he pleased. Instead, he tried to be a badass and caught a case of lead poisoning. If I had been in that officers shoes, I wouldn’t have lost a wink of sleep over it, because it was his duty to go home to his family after his shift, it’s up to the person being detained whether they go home, to jail, or the morgue. Guess which one little Johnny Pothead chose?

        • Diane Mixon

          Are you kidding the cop made a bad decision at every turn. In his education he should have known a teen will act this way cop should have waited for bsck up good thing he was an innocent kid or that cop would have been dead. Macho syndrome wish he was charged

  • James M Vandeventer

    Want to know why our kids are getting murdered by Police? Watch this video of a ROGUE POLICEMAN MURDERING A 17 YEAR OLD KID! The kid told the officer he did not flash his lights and after the cop murdered him, he said he had pulled ove4r several people for the SAME THING! WHO THE FCK IS LYING HERE? You think ALL THOSE PEOPLE WERE LYING? Sounds to me like some TRYING TO WRITE TICKETS FOR REVENUE! Worse why the fck didn’t this murdering POS COP, WAIT FOR HIS FCKING BACK-UP? This shit HAS TO STOP! Cops need to be able to recognize a threat when it’s REAL rather than FCKING escalate a situation with OUR YOUNG KIDS AND MURDERING THEM!
    PLEASE SHARE THIS, THIS HAS TO STOP! This boy should be ALIVE TODAY! The only reason the Prosecutor didn’t file charges is because he’s protecting the dept from a lawsuit! ARE THERE ANY good Cops who will STOP OUR KIDS FROM BEING BRUTALLY MURDERED OVER A LYING POLICEMAN?
    THE GAY LAYMAN

  • Tony

    If you charge at an officer you should get shot, officer gave him what, 8 requests for ID, repeatedly told him to spread his arms, attempted to cuff him and after tasing him you see in the video the kid was on his feet charging. I tell my kids to obey law enforcement officers, because I’m not one and can’t imagine dealing with people like most of you that instantly think the officer is guilty. Had this been a case of a 40 year vet officer that died because he didn’t pull the trigger when charged everyone would be swinging their comments the other way. Yes he’s 17, I know, how tough could he be right? It’s tragic but also why people should stop watching you tube videos on how to argue with police just to say I won….poor kid.

  • Randal A

    The shame belongs on the parents who teach their children to be so disrespectful of authority. Even Jesus taught, “Give unto Caesar which is Caesar”. That young man could have had his day in court. He was wrong. Unfortunately, dead wrong.

    • C Cook

      If you allowed your child to act in that manner, I’d hope when you found the officer, he would blow your head off just like your dumbass child.

  • Fred Atkinson

    I saw the video and I am shocked by what I saw. I am further shocked that no charges were filed against the officer. He killed an unarmed teen? That isn’t a felony? I would think that parents in the community would be demanding this officer’s badge and want him thoroughly prosecuted!

  • Destinytrustworthy

    The whole problem with that video and what everyone is missing is the cop called for back up. Why bother to call for back up if he was not going to wait? That would of been my first question to the officer. If he feared for his life as they say then he would not have tried dragging that teen out the car. He had back up coming and he should have waited if he had any fears. I can’t believe he felt threatened in any way I don’t believe those cuts on the officers face were put their from that kid either. But, thats just my view.

  • Kevin Turner

    This punk got everything he deserved. I’ve been stopped five times in the 36 years since I started driving. I was never disrespectful to the cops, I never lied to them, and I never tried to tell them their job. Strangely enough, I walked away from each encounter; some, without a ticket. Once, a cop even stood over me with a poncho, while I tried to fix my broken fuel pump in a pouring rain.

    These days, however, kids are taught that they have the right to argue with whomever they want. If these parents are devastated by the loss of their child, perhaps they should examine the way they raised him.

  • Theresa

    The death of Devin Guilford is a tragedy. It should not have happened period. Officer Frost used excessive force and abused his power. This officer used no judgement at all when he shot a young teenager driving home, who happened to be one of three drivers that night who flashed their high beams at this officer. The patrol car was new and had misaligned headlights that were blinding oncoming drivers. Shame on the prosecutor for not charging Officier with a crime. Why is Gods name did this officer not wait for his back up? Officer Frost did not have the emotional intelligence to diffuse and correctly assess the situation. Instead he plowed 7 bullets into someone’s child. It was murder as I see it. I believe that the citizens of this western Michigan town should demand that this officer be removed and charged. I would not send one of my tax dollars to support that police department. Why must a police officer shoot to kill at every single encounter. This police officer couldn’t even use his taser properly on this kid. So when that didn’t work- he pulls out the gun. Police brutality- pure & simple. This guy gives ALL police officers a bad name. So sad. Get Officer Frost off the force and prosecute him.

  • Diane Mixon

    Very disappointed with the prosecutor. He was presented with plenty of evidence to prove this officer was incompetent and derelict in his duties this evening. He let his patience and temper make his decisions and a teen is dead that did not have to be. He should be held accountable and have consequences. He didn’t wait for back up pulled him out of the car his taser didn’t work his gun jammedand his camera went off too many mishaps for 1 traffic stop. Must have been the officer.