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‘He needs justice:’ Hundreds rally for teen shot, killed by deputy

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LANSING, Mich. — Hundreds gathered at the state capitol Saturday afternoon rallying for justice for Eaton County teen Deven Guilford, who was shot and killed by a deputy during a traffic stop in February.

"It's getting national. It's getting a bigger crowd of people together, more people are getting brave and stepping out and voicing their opinion," said Tim Smith, one of hundreds at Saturday's rally.

The rally comes a week after the family of Guilford filed a federal lawsuit against the Eaton County Sheriff's Department and the county for the death of their son.

Guilford's friends and family told FOX 17 that Saturday's rally wasn't just for Deven, but for everyone who's been shot and killed by police.

"To let an innocent 17-year-old get gunned down in the street, it's wrong," Smith said.

Deven Guilford, 17.

Deven Guilford, 17.

In February, Deven Guilford was shot seven times by Sgt. Jonathan Frost after the 17-year-old attacked the deputy during a traffic stop on the side of M-43, according to a report from the Eaton County Prosecuting Attorney's Office.

"He needs justice for what happened to him, it's uncalled for," said Ryan Rueckert, a friend of Guilford.

Jean Sherman never imagined losing her only grandchild this way.

"I saw him for the first time in 16 years in his casket. I hadn't seen him in 16 years, it broke my heart," Sherman said.

FOX 17 spoke with Deven's father off camera who said there were no words to describe how much the rally meant to him and his family.

Eaton County Sheriff's Sgt. Jonathan Frost was cleared by the county prosecutor in June of any wrong-doing after an investigation into the teen's death was completed.

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30 comments

  • steve thomas

    What exactly happened before the shooting happened? Cops don’t shoot someone for no reason at all. There’s more to this than the article indicates and the “protesters” are mostly little more than ignorant robots. I’m guessing that the prosecutor had a better idea of what really happened,

    • Lawful dude

      Mom and dad should have taught JR respect for police.

      There is a video that shows exactly what happened.

      The kid was arrogant, disrespectful, argued with the cop and refused to show his drivers licence and paperwork.
      The kid refused to get out of the car, he resisted the cop
      I have zero craps to give, this kid asked for it and got it.
      The irony of his yeng and yang T-shirt isn’t lost.

      This anti-cop crap is a load of crap.

      • Commonsense

        What a waste of a story. If he would have followed orders given by the Officer of the Law, he would have driven away from the incident. Instead, he argued and fought with the deputy. Too arrogant, disrespectful and stupid to figure that out. Oh, and let’s not forget, put the cell phone down!. Once again, media giving credit to the anti cop sentiment pesuasive to today’s Obama society.

      • Informed citizen

        It is alleged that the youth attacked the Officer, however the forensic evidence obtained through FOIA along with the statement from the Officer also obtained through FOIA proves that Deven did not attack the Officer. Deven was on the ground on his stomach complying when the officer tased him and less then 12 seconds later the youth was dead, shot 7 times. The youth was questioning but remained polite. The officer tried pulling the youth from his vehicle and said the youth was resisting arrest. The youths seat belt was on, he couldn’t get out until he disengaged his seat belt, that is NOT resisting arrest and the officer did not tell him he was under arrest when he tried pulling the youth from the vehicle. This has nothing to do with being anti-police and everything to do with accountability and truth!!

      • Joe Jackson

        I think it’s a very sad state of affairs when, in a country built on the idea of freedom, – it is believed that it is justifiable for an individual to be killed because the person is “arrogant, disrespectful, argued…” I personally am very sad that your words focus on speaking ill of someone who is dead… someone who was not a murderer, a child predator, a rapist, a danger to self and society in general. We are losing the very thing that makes us human with words like yours – we are losing our humanity.

      • Shane

        Murder is evil, no matter at. Police are just people, with too much power. Doing a certain job, doesn’t make anybody superior, to anybody else. Everybody, on this message board, should live, in a North Korean prison camp. Honor, respect, & idolize THOSE officers. Cops should learn respect, for people’s freedom.

      • Magan

        So that makes it okay for a cop to shoot someone 6 – 7x? We are supposed to be professionals regardless of the situation there should not be a reason to shoot somebody 7 times when there was already a Taser available. The cop knew what he was doing wrong he was entrapment by having his lights too high there’s more to the story than there is. Regardless of tue kids “rude behavior”, does not give the right for the cop to shoot. The officer created self inflicting injuries….why would he do that if he was not guilty? Cops never shoot somebody for no reason, don’t be so blind. a just because they are in uniform doesn’t mean they are rightous. I’ve seen military cover up as well. WE ARE STILL EMOTIONAL HUMANS. The cop snapped. Killed the kid unnecessary, the family isn’t looking for “quick cash” It’s called justice. If it was your son, no matter how much of a jerk, he didn’t deserve to die. Don’t be so blind…

        • Michele

          You are definitely an emotional human. Even though the video shows the kid physically fighting back and indeed getting up and attacking the officer, you are adamant that the officer not only had his high beams on for “entrapment” but that his wounds were self-inflicted. How are you sure? Because you are biased and only see what you want to see. Try looking at the facts and without your biases. If the wounds are determined to be self inflicted then the cop deserves to rot. But if they are not, then the cop was totally justified in defending himself.

      • Rootino

        No what’s a load of crap is that coward Frost opening up the boys door & then tasing him when he face down on the ground & that coward frost shooting him 7 times & the police & dirty ass prosecutor covering up their case cause all police vehicles got dash cams & Devin didn’t get what he deserve cause his life was tookin by a cowardly cop now if he would still be living then that will be deserving enough but we all know how cops lie & cover up their story but all good things may come to a end & all bad cops will get what they deserve & that’s called Karma & real justice & y can count on that cause having a badge don’t give them trigger happy Cowards extra rights who are public servants. & people should be more fearful for their life by police then anybody else. But the real fight is wit Isis but we got to worry about these cowardly acts right in America from trigger happy police. So if they are that trigger happy send them Cowards ovet to help fight Isis & they will know the difference between shooting unarmed citizens & the ones who got guns & will shoot back & I guarantee you none of them trigger happy coward less cops will make it cause their is someone like Isis who will shoot back & take that to the bank cause all Cowards will see Meaning Cops cause aient no one above the law not even the ones who say protect & serve on their car which should be taken off cause they out here protecting their selfs Cowards

    • ken

      Steve, we all know what happened and it was not what the cop said. Eaton County is killing unarmed people on a much too regular basis.

  • Informed citizen

    It is alleged that the youth attacked the Officer, however the forensic evidence obtained through FOIA along with the statement from the Officer also obtained through FOIA proves that Deven did not attack the Officer. Deven was on the ground on his stomach complying when the officer tased him and less then 12 seconds later the youth was dead, shot 7 times. The youth was questioning but remained polite. The officer tried pulling the youth from his vehicle and said the youth was resisting arrest. The youths seat belt was on, he couldn’t get out until he disengaged his seat belt, that is NOT resisting arrest and the officer did not tell him he was under arrest when he tried pulling the youth from the vehicle. This has nothing to do with being anti-police and everything to do with accountability and truth!!

    • Jesse

      The only “thug” in this case is this corrupt cop, well and now the prosecutor’s office that is protecting him! He’s a murderer and should be facing a jury!

  • suzanne s skaarup

    I want to know why the officer had to even pull him over if he was the third car to flash him. The officer already knew that his lights were affecting the on coming drivers. Was the officer looking for an incident. Did he intend on pulling every car over throughout the night that flashed him? For what purpose? Because he’s and officer and not suppose to be flashed? I mean a 17 year old kid lost his life. This has to stop..

  • suzanne skaarup

    I didn’t see some of the comments when I wrote my statement. Some of you should be ashamed of yourself. You think that a mother should bury her son because he asked an officer why he was being pulled over, You’d make a perfect officer yourself. That’s the problem we don’t shoot people in this country because they get disrespectful. They are only suppose to use force when there is a life threatening situation. Not when there is an ego bruising occurrence going on. What’s a matter with all of you.

    • Michele

      No, but when someone refuses to follow even the most basic commands from an officer, is rude and argumentative even after the situation is explained, and then full out attacks an officer who has no idea if the kid has a weapon or a criminal history then there is a chance they will get shot.

  • Smh

    Tell all these protesting criminals and thugs to go home and raise their children right. The audacity and nerve they have to be upset that their child was killed by the police because they didnt raise them to obey the law is astounding and wrong. These parents need to learn to parent better.

      • Michele

        Unless you are a cop, getting attacked by a person who has refused to follow any commands and could be carrying a weapon (how was the cop to know) while he is bashing your face in. Oh, I forgot, he was supposed to be clairvoyant and know there was no weapon and the kid didn’t really mean him any harm.