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Family of 17 Year Old Michigan Boy Shot By Deputy In Traffic Stop Raise Lawsuit Against Eaton County Sheriff’s Office

The Guilford family of Mulliken, Michigan have engaged Detroit based law firm Constitutional Litigation Associates, who specialize in police lawsuits, to file a lawsuit against the Eaton County Sheriff’s department and one Sgt. Jonathon Frost, who shot their 17 year old son seven times during a traffic stop on February 28th 2015, resulting in the boy’s death.

Four months earlier, Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd had found Jonathon Frost not guilty of any wrongdoing in the incident, however parents of the victim, Deven Guilford, who was unarmed at the time of his shooting, have filed against the Sheriff’s department and are demanding a trial by jury. Their claim does not ask for any monetary payment in terms of damages.

Why Was Deven Guilford Shot?

It was at around 8pm on February 28th, in the Roxand Township, that Deven Guilford was stopped by Sgt. Frost. Guilford was believed to be traveling to his girlfriend’s house having just been to a basketball game, with plans to stay in and watch movies together. The traffic stop was initiated after Guildford flashed Frost’s car, because he thought Frost had his brights on.

Deven Guilford was recording the stop on his phone’s camera, and Frost also had a body camera, though his vehicle was not, according to Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd, fitted with the ‘dash’ cameras sometimes used on law enforcement cars.

Deven Guilford could not produce his license and insurance papers when asked to by Frost, which Lloyd established would have been classed as a misdemeanor. It later transpired that Guilford did not have his license with him, as it was at his girlfriend’s house, where he was headed. Guilford asked Frost for his badge number, but Frost declined to give it to him.

Frost then pulled Deven Guilford out of the vehicle and made him lay on his stomach beside the car. He attempted to cuff Guilford, who refused to put his hands behind his back to allow him to do this. At this point Frost used a stun gun on Guilford to subdue him, but it did not work fully as only one of the probes hit the youth.

It was at this point that the initial investigation Lloyd used in his ruling determined that there was an altercation between the Sgt. and the teen, which ended up in a ditch full of snow. Frost’s camera was no longer functioning, and Guilford’s cellphone was left behind, so there is no footage of this part of the incident, except for the audio of the seven shots which killed Deven Guilford being fired.
Frost escaped with minor facial injuries which were treated immediately.
Deven Guilford’s parents state that this tragic event has seriously shaken their trust in law enforcement and justice, and seek a full trial for Frost by jury. Their lawsuit was filed in the US District Court for the Western District of Michigan.
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