The story of 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was shot in the head and killed by an officer that was accused of manslaughter in the shooting death of the sleeping young girl, seems to have been overlooked by media while the nation is glued to the Michael Brown shooting case especially following the grand jury’s decision not to indict the Ferguson officer Darren Wilson.
It was May 16th, 2010, when a Detroit police department’s special response team raided a home where Aiyana was sleeping.
At their raid, police fired a flash grenade through the front window before pushing their way in.
What happened next is a two-sided story.
The officer Joseph Weekley claims Aiyana’s grandmother Mertilla Jones attempted to grab his gun causing it to fire the fatal shot that struck Aiyana in the head as she slept.
On the other hand, Mertilla Jones said she made no contact with the officer’s gun and only went to reach for her granddaughter when the grenade went through the window and that’s when, according to the family’s lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, says police fired the shot that struck Aiyana from outside the home possibly through the opened front door.
The grandmother was arrested that day and taken through tests for drugs and gunpowder and released that Sunday morning.
Ironically, the incident occurred as A&E was filming the documentary TV series The First 48 whom Joseph “Brain” Weekley, a member of the Detroit Swat team, made frequent appearances on the show.
Weekley was eventually brought up on charges of ‘involuntary manslaughter’ and “negligent firing of a weapon causing death.”
The trial, which started in September, was stopped in its second day due to Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ mother Dominika Stanley and her grandmother Mertilla Jones having “emotional outbursts” in the courtroom.
October 3rd, Weekley’s charge of involuntary manslaughter was dismissed by Wade-County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Hathaway, who, along with a jury, presided over the trial.
According to Weekley’s lawyer, based on there being “absolutely no evidence” that officer Weekley “knowingly created a danger or intended to cause injury,” the case remained dismissed and a motion of appeal was denied by presiding Judge Michael Talbot, who allowed the dismissal to stand.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was shot and killed in her sleep by a bullet from Joseph Weekley’s gun during the A&E filmed documented raid was laid to rest at the Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit on May 22, 2010.
Aiyana was buried in a white casket which was driven to her grave site by a horse-drawn carriage. Al Sharpton spoke her eulogy.
This “The First 48” video shows the police raid that led to Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ death.