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.