Ten months after the shooting death of Michigan teen Deven Guilford, the Grand Ledge Chamber of Commerce shot down a parade request from community group Deven’s Voice, which attempted to include a float in Guilford’s honor in a holiday parade set to take place in Easton County.
Guilford, 17, was shot and killed earlier this year on Feb. 28 by Eaton County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Jonathan Frost after the teen flashed his high beam lights in the officer’s direction. Although Guilford was unarmed, Frost claimed self-defense as the reason for killing Guilford.
The Lansing State Journal spoke with Angela Mulder who is a hugher-up in Deven’s Voice and also a friend of the Guilford family. She says that the float’s application was turned down because it was allegedly “too volatile.”
“His life and his death is being swept under the rug because of the controversy around it. I think that’s wrong,” Mulder told the daily.
But Jill Russell, who is the Executive Director of the Chamber of Commerce, fiercely disagrees.
“It’s not the venue for such a divisive issue,” she said. “We can sympathize with the situation but we don’t want to incite more division within the community.”
Mulder and other members of Deven’s Voice are determined to be heard and have their float seen.
The group says they will park their float at the end of the parade in a bike shop parking lot.
Recently Mulder lost her job at a local law firm.
She thinks she was let go after she publicly criticized on social media Eaton County Prosecutor Doug Lloyd and Sheriff Tom Reich for justifying Guilford’s death.
Both the prosecutor and the law firm deny Mulder’s claim.