We unfortunately have another police shooting of an unarmed teenage suspect back in the news, though this one took place much earlier in the year. (Before the SJW and BLM get their knickers in a bunch, don’t worry… the kid was white.) Back in February, teenager Deven Guilford was pulled over in Mulliken, located in Eaton County, Michigan. The cause for the stop was the fact that Guilford had flashed his high beams at a cop coming in the opposite direction, so we’re not exactly talking about an international crime spree here. But upon being approached by Officer Jonathan Frost and asked for his license and other normal documents, Deven took it upon himself to refuse and demanded to know why he was being “detained.”
Things went from normal to bad to horrible pretty quickly. Upon being told to exit the vehicle and facing arrest, an altercation took place which wound up with Deven being shot seven times. He did not survive the injuries. No action was taken against the cop and now Devin’s parents are taking the matter to court. (Detroit Free Press)
The family of a 17-year-old Mulliken teen shot who was shot and killed by an Eaton County Sheriff’s sergeant following a February traffic stop filed a federal lawsuit Wednesday against the county and the police officer.
Deven Guilford’s parents, Brian and Becky Guilford, said in a statement that their trust in law enforcement was “shaken to the core” by the shooting.
“As we take this action today we are outraged at the huge miscarriage of justice done to our son Deven Guilford,” they said.
Without any more supporting information that certainly sounds pretty bad. But fortunately for all of us, this was another case where the officer was wearing a body camera for the encounter and recorded all of the activities until the equipment was eventually smashed. (More on that below.) The video has now been released and if you watch the roughly five minutes applicable to the case (below) I think you’ll see that this entire fiasco was completely avoidable… and it was Deven who could have prevented it, not the cop. I should offer the usual warning that the content may be disturbing to some readers, though it doesn’t actually show the moment of death.
Just to see how culpable the officer might have been and the attitude he took, you need look no further than the opening gambit as Officer Frost approaches the driver side of the car and begins the conversation with Guilford.
Frost: Hello. Need your drivers license, registration and proof of insurance please. The reason I pulled you over today was because you flashed me. I didn’t even have my brights on.
Guilford: Yes you did sir.
At this point, Frost’s tone is nothing but friendly. The only “weapon” he has in hand is a flashlight. He greets the kid, asks for the totally normal documents which cops ask for in every traffic stop and immediately lets him know why he was pulled over. Let’s stop and ask ourselves a question here. If this kid had simply handed over his license and registration, would this have ended in anything other than a warning and sending him on his way? The parents are claiming that it was an “unlawful stop” to begin with, but in fact it is illegal in Michigan to flash your high beams at another driver within 500 feet. It’s a civil infraction that carries a 2-point penalty on your license so yes, you can be pulled over for it.
From that point the officer continues to ask for the documents several more times, growing increasingly frustrated as Guilford continues to refuse, pulling out his phone to record the conversation and then attempting to place a phone call. At that point Frost is clearly fed up and orders Deven out of the car. He refuses to comply and at that point the officer pulls his taser and threatens to use it. Finally Guilford gets down on the ground after much additional arguing, but won’t comply with the commands given so that he can be placed under arrest. That’s when all hell breaks loose.
Guilford is resisting and Frost finally fires his taser, but for some reason it doesn’t work. Deven breaks lose and begins attacking the officer. In the muddled final frames of video you can see him, not running away, but in Frost’s face with his fists raised. The body camera is damaged in the attack but there’s still audio in which you hear shots ring out. Here’s what Officer Frost looked like in the ambulance immediately after the event.
We always hear from the Social Justice Warriors about the need for cops to approach people in a more human fashion and the importance of training so they can “deescalate” tense situations. I lost track of the number of times Frost calmly asked for the documents and then how many warnings he issued to try to get the kid to calm down and follow instructions. We’re also told that hot under the collar cops are supposed to hold back and never use deadly force unless they honestly feel they are in real danger of death or injury. Frost tried to go to the taser first before resorting to his service weapon while under attack. There is absolutely nothing in this video record which indicates that Officer Frost violated any of these guidelines.
In the end, Deven Guilford wound up dead. And it was entirely the fault of Deven Guilford from what I can see.