Aiyana Jones was sleeping on the couch as her grandmother lay with her. A Detroit SWAT team accompanied by the TV show, “First 48” tossed a flash grenade into the home, then kicked in the door. The lead officer rushed in and immediately fired the shot that hit 7 year old Aiyana Jones in the top of the head (marked by the symbol in the image). The bullet exited her neck.
The authorities went on to lay blame on the grandmother, who’s only instinct was to reach for her grandbaby, saying she’d prompted the officer to pull the trigger.
The judge declared a mistrial in persecuting Aiyana’s killer.
“Baltimore Chief Prosecutor Marilyn Mosby charged six officers today in the death of Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African American man who died last month from a spinal cord injury while in police custody. But while justice may be served in Gray’s case, activists are raising awareness about another group who experience police brutality but rarely receive media attention, let alone attention from the courts—African American women.
The Cut reported that “women account for 20 percent of unarmed people of color killed by the police between 1999 and 2014,” and according to the Black Liberation Project, 15 black women have been killed by police in the last 18 months. Yet few of them have received the same attention as Michael Brown, Eric Garner, Trayvon Martin or Freddie Gray.”
Use the hashtag #AiyanasDreams between May 16-23 to post pictures of what Aiyana may have been dreaming about when she was murdered or what she would have dreamed about if she was alive today. Black girls deserve to dream.
Cop who killed sleeping 7-year-old Aiyana Jones will not face charges January 29, 2015
The Detroit police officer who fatally shot a sleeping 7-year-old girl will not be retried, officials said Wednesday.
Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said in a statement that her office was moving to dismiss the case against Officer Joseph Weekley. He was originally charged with involuntary manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm causing death, a misdemeanor, after Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed in 2010 during a botched police raid at her home.
Weekley’s first trial in 2013 ended in a mistrial. In a second trial last year, Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway dismissed the manslaughter charge after a motion by the defense. The jury again deadlocked while deliberating whether to convict Weekley of the lesser charge, causing a second mistrial.
“Today we personally informed the family of Aiyana Stanley–Jones that we have made a decision that we would not be going to trial for a third time in the Joseph Weekley case,” Worthy said, calling Hathaway’s decision to dismiss the manslaughter charge “unfortunate.”
Shortly after midnight on May 16, 2010, members of the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team initiated a raid on the Stanley-Jones home in search of a murder suspect. Weekley was first through the door and allegedly had difficulty seeing when another officer threw a a flash-bang grenade. Weekley fired his gun, killing Aiyana, who had been asleep on the couch with her grandmother.
Weekley maintained that he only shot because the grandmother, Mertilla Jones, struck his gun. She denied touching his weapon, and at trial the prosecution questioned why Weekley had his finger on the trigger.
As activists around the country have widely protested the police killings of unarmed black individuals, including Eric Garner in New York City and Michael Brown in Ferguson, Missouri, Detroiters have added Aiyana’s name to the list of victims. In October, Roland Lawrence, chairman of the Justice for Aiyana Committee, condemned the judge’s decision to dismiss the manslaughter charge against Weekley.
“Surely, the death of a baby by a well-trained police force must be deemed unacceptable in a civilized society,” Lawrence said in a statement at the time.
The prosecution will move to dismiss the case against Weekley Friday morning.
Officer Joseph Weekley has not been on active duty since shortly after the May 16, 2010, raid of a flat on Lillibridge Street on the city’s east side that ended in Aiyana’s death. Weekley led a Special Response Team crew into the flat, looking for a killer who’d gunned down a 17-year-old days earlier.
Weekley was officially restored to active duty April 2, when he was transferred from the Special Response Team to the Criminal Investigations Bureau, although he won’t start work for a few weeks, Detroit Police Chief James Craig said Friday.
“He’s on vacation now, but when he returns, he’ll be in a limited duty capacity,” Craig said. “He won’t be in the field.”