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Aiyana Mo'Nay Stanley-Jones (July 20, 2002 – May 16, 2010) was a seven-year-old girl from the East Side of Detroit, Michigan who was shot and killed during a raid conducted by the Detroit Police Department's Special Response Team on May 16, 2010.[1] Her death drew national media attention[2] and led U.S. Representative John Conyers to ask U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder for a federal investigation into the incident.[3]

Contents

Context

On Friday, May 14, 2010, a teen named Jerean Blake was shot and killed near the intersection of Mack and Beniteau on Detroit's east side. By Saturday night, police had identified Chauncey Owens as a suspect in the shooting and obtained a warrant to search 4054 Lillibridge St, where he was believed to be hiding.[4]

Death

Police officers, bystanders, and residents of the home disagree about several aspects of the raid.[1]

According to press reports, police were on the scene by 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, May 16, 2010. In an attempt to distract the occupants, police fired a flash grenade through the front window of the bottom floor, where Aiyana and Mertilla slept. As police entered the front door, Officer Joseph Weekley's gun went off and struck Aiyana in the head or neck area.[5] Police escorted Aiyana to St. John Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.

Aftermath

After the shot was fired, Weekley reported to his sergeant that a woman inside had grabbed for his gun. Police arrested Mertilla Jones, administered tests for drugs and gunpowder, and released her Sunday morning.[6] Mertilla said that she reached for Aiyana but had no contact with officers.[1]

Chauncey Owens, who is engaged to be married to Aiyana's aunt,[7] was found in the upper floor of the duplex and surrendered without incident.[1] Three days later, he was charged with first-degree murder in connection with the death of Jerean Blake.[4]

Funeral

Her funeral was held in the Second Ebenezer Church on May 22, 2010 in Detroit. Al Sharpton gave the eulogy. The casket was white and was afterwards driven to the grave by horse drawn carriage.[8] She was buried on the grounds.[9]

Controversy

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Video of incident

Geoffrey Fieger filed lawsuits on behalf of Aiyana's family.[10] Fieger claims that footage from an undisclosed source shows that the lethal bullet came from outside the home, rather than inside, as police said.[11] A spokesman for city police demanded that Fieger share the tape's contents with Michigan State Police investigators. Fieger said he is not in possession of the tape but that he hoped to release it to the news media.[12]

The tape was allegedly made by the A&E reality show The First 48, which was following Detroit police at the time and had featured Detroit officers, including Weekley, in past episodes.[13]

2007 Raid

Officer Joseph Weekley, a 14-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, is one of several officers targeted in a federal lawsuit alleging that they shot two dogs and pointed a gun at children during a 2007 raid of a Detroit house. A hearing in U.S. District Court, scheduled for June 9, will decide whether the case goes to trial.[14]

References

  1. ^ a b c d Schaefer, Jim (May 19, 2010). "Detroit police outline final moments of Aiyana's life". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20100519/NEWS01/5190356/Cop-Woman-grabbed-my-gun.-The-bullet-hit-a-child.. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  2. ^ Dolan, Matthew; Mike Ramsey (May 17, 2010). "State to Probe Police Killing of Girl in Detroit". The Wall Street Journal (Detroit). http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052748704314904575250861418212530.html?mod=WSJ_business_IndustryNews_DLW. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  3. ^ Angel, Cecil; Todd Spangler and George Sipple (May 20, 2010). "Conyers seeks federal probe of Aiyana's death". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20100520/NEWS01/5200591/1001/NEWS/Teen-slaying-led-to-police-shooting-&template=fullarticle. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  4. ^ a b Swickard, Joe (May 19, 2010). "Homicide suspect hunted in raid that led to Aiyana's death is charged". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20100519/NEWS01/100519057/Homicide-suspect-hunted-in-raid-leading-to-Aiyanas-death-is-charged. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  5. ^ Pardo, Steve; George Hunter (May 20, 2010). "Passions high as Bing admits no easy answer to violence". The Detroit News. http://www.detnews.com/article/20100520/METRO/5200490/1410/Cox--Sharpton-trade-barbs-in-Aiyana-Jones-death. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  6. ^ Gutherie, Doug; George Hunter (May 19. 2010). "Slain girl's family alleges police cover-up". The Detroit News (Southfield). http://www.detnews.com/article/20100519/METRO01/5190376/1409/metro/Slain-girl-s-family-alleges-police-cover-up. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  7. ^ Williams, Corey (May 20, 2010). "Mayor: Detroit doesn't know 'how to stop' killings". Google News (BIRMINGHAM, Mich.). http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5ic0zIwN35snxsvtiSWfppzANNBqQD9FQPSSG0. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  8. ^ "Funeral for Aiyana Stanley-Jones". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/apps/pbcs.dll/gallery?Avis=C4&Dato=20100522&Kategori=NEWS&Lopenr=5220803&Ref=PH. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  9. ^ "UPDATE: Aiyana Jones' Funeral". Essence. May 23, 2010. http://www.essence.com/news/hot_topics_4/aiyana_jones_funeral_today.php. Retrieved 8 June 2010. "Aiyana Stanley Jones was laid to reston (sic) Saturday at Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit, Michigan.". 
  10. ^ Williams, Corey; Ed White (May 18, 2010). "Attorney files 2 lawsuits in death of Detroit girl". Google News (Detroit). http://www.google.com/hostednews/ap/article/ALeqM5g_pIuAhdzGl-lCCGzVbN5VxEYHrwD9FPB9E80. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  11. ^ Hunter, George; Doug Guthrie and Francis X. Donnelly (May 18. 2010). "State to probe girl's slaying; lawyer disputes cops' account". The Detroit News (Detroit). http://www.detnews.com/article/20100518/METRO01/5180363/1409/metro/State-to-probe-girl-s-slaying--lawyer-disputes-cops--account. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  12. ^ Schaerfer, Jim (May 18, 2010). "Fieger says police shooting no accident, he has proof". Detroit Free Press. http://www.freep.com/article/20100518/NEWS05/5180353/1318/?GID=5bmlZmzjsB7Jnapl9UTvRxiNGLH2/oVhUQhVr3VPRSY%3D. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 
  13. ^ "Aiyana Jones case, attorney says Video shows police fired into Detroit home". The Washington Post. May 17, 2010. http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2010/05/17/AR2010051700703.html. Retrieved 8 June 2010. [dead link]
  14. ^ Hunter, George (May 19. 2010). "Cop in Aiyana shooting helped needy kids, sued for earlier raid". The Detroit News (Detroit). http://www.detnews.com/article/20100519/METRO01/5190352/1409/Cop-in-Aiyana-shooting-helped-needy-kids--sued-for-earlier-raid. Retrieved 8 June 2010. 

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