joseph weekley

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.


Where are the die-ins, traffic shut-downs, mass organizing campaigns, or media coverage for Aiyana? She was only 7 years old.

RIP Aiyana Mo'Nay Stanley Jones (July 20, 2002 – May 16, 2010)

On May 14, 2010, 18 year old Je'Rean Blake was shot and killed on Detroit’s east side by Chauncey Owens. When confronted with the crime, Owens admitted to police that he got the gun from Aiyana’s father Charles Jones

On the night of May 16, 2010, while trying to show off for the camera crew of The First 48 who were profiling the Detroit Police Department, the SWAT team throws a flash grenade into the Jone’s home in order to distract the occupants. Then the officers rushed into the house looking for Charles Jones. One of the officers, Officer Joseph Weekley, saw something move on the couch and shot it. What moved was Aiyana waking up from her sleep. She was killed instantly.

After 3 trials, Officer Weekley was acquitted of all charges and is currently back on the Detroit Police Department. Chauncey Owens took a plea to second-degree murder calls for Owens to serve 28 years for the killing and an additional two years for using a gun in the commission of a felony, in exchange for his testimony against Charles Jones. Charles Jones was later sentenced Charles Jone to 40-to-60 years in prison for second degree murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Je-Rean Blake in 2010, and another 10 to 20 years for perjury.