- Associated Press - Sunday, February 28, 2016

CHARLOTTE, Mich. (AP) - The owner of a small-town diner recalled how he regularly greeted one of his teenage customers.

“Hey Deven, how’s the best kid in town doing?” said Rob Piercefield, owner of Swede’s Restaurant in Mulliken. “I’ll tell you why: Because he never gave me an ounce of trouble.”

But Deven Guilford isn’t around anymore. It’s been a year since the 17-year-old was fatally shot by a sheriff’s officer, and feelings about his death still are raw in the close-knit communities of Eaton County.

“There isn’t going to be a resolution to the hurt in people’s souls,” the Rev. Larry Schrauger of Oneida Gospel Church in Grand Ledge told the Lansing State Journal (https://on.lsj.com/1LmbPLz ).

Guilford was stopped for flashing his high beams at a car driven by Sgt. Jonathan Frost of the sheriff’s department. He was immediately argumentative, according to Frost’s body-cam video, and resisted when asked for his license and vehicle registration.

“Out of the car or you’re going to get tased. … Get on your belly, now!” Frost said, raising his voice.

They struggled on the shoulder on the road, and Guilford was shot seven times. The camera came off Frost and didn’t record the shooting. In June, after a state police investigation, county prosecutor Doug Lloyd said no charges would be filed.

Some people have asked why he didn’t file charges and let a jury sort it out.

“I have to have the facts,” Lloyd said. “That would be unfair to any defendant out there, to just go, ‘Well, we’ll see what a jury decides.’”

Hundreds of people attended a rally Saturday outside the state Capitol in support of Guilford, with many holding signs that said, “He was just a kid” and “Thou shall not kill.”

The online video has become a teaching tool for some families. Michael “Tiny” Moore has watched it with his teenage sons.

“You clearly feel like Deven was pushing buttons, and, on the other side, you feel like it was an overreaction on the part of the officer,” Moore said. “He got so aggressive.”

A lawsuit filed by Guilford’s family is pending in federal court.

___

Information from: Lansing State Journal, https://www.lansingstatejournal.com


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