The family of an unarmed Michigan teen who was shot dead by a sheriff’s sergeant after flashing his car’s lights at him, have filed a federal lawsuit against the county and the police officer.
The move comes four months after the officer was cleared of criminal wrongdoing in the homicide.
The Detroit Free Press reports:
The lawsuit against Frost and Eaton County alleges that Frost’s “entire course of action was illegal and in violation of Deven’s constitutional rights.”
“Deven’s tragic and totally unnecessary death represents a disturbing trend of demanding 100% compliance with police authority, coupled with zero tolerance of risk of harm to police officers,” said Cynthia Heenan of Constitutional Litigation Associates P.C., a Detroit law firm specializing in police misconduct litigation and representing the family, in a statement.
The lawsuit asks for a jury trial but does not seek specific monetary damages.
Theresa O’Dell, executive assistant to Eaton County Sheriff Tom Reich, said county officials have been advised not to comment by their legal counsel. Eaton County Controller John Fuentes also declined to comment on the lawsuit.
Frost, an eight-year veteran, initiated the traffic stop around 8 p.m. Feb. 28 on M-43 in Roxand Township after Guilford flashed his bright lights at Frost because he thought Frost’s brights were on.
According to his family, Guilford was driving home from a basketball game at Liberty Church in Grand Ledge and was on his way to his girlfriend’s home to watch movies.
A Michigan State Police investigation included the review of video of the stop, both from Guilford’s cell phone — the teen was recording the traffic stop — and Frost’s body camera. Frost’s new patrol vehicle did not have a dash camera, according to Lloyd.
Supporters of the Guilford family will be holding a rally at the Michigan State Capitol from 2:00pm to 5:00pm on October 24.
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