There was no way that I was going to let this story pass and not speak on it on the blog. Yes, it may seem that I was late with the news, but I wanted to get this book trailer out the way so I could sit her at 6am in the morning and give this story the attention that it deserves. First, let me give you what was pre-reported in the media (this is straight from The Associated Press via bet.com) along with a few VSNs (Vogue SideNotes):
DETROIT (AP) — Seven-year-old Aiyana Jones was asleep on the living room sofa in her family’s apartment when Detroit police searching for a homicide suspect burst in and an officer’s gun went off, fatally striking the girl in the neck, family members say. What made his gun go off? Did he fear for his life? Was there someone in the house that had a gun pointing back at him?
Her father, 25-year-old Charles Jones, told The Detroit News he had just gone to bed early Sunday after covering his daughter with her favorite Disney princess blanket when he heard a flash grenade followed by a gunshot. When he rushed into the living room, he said, police forced him to lie on the ground, with his face in his daughter’s blood. Just from what I’m reading here, its like they just rushed into the house and started popping off. What did the cops see that made them react like this?
“I’ll never be the same. That’s my only daughter,” Jones told WXYZ-TV.
Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said officers set off the flash grenade as they entered the apartment with their guns drawn about 12:40 a.m. Sunday with a warrant to look for a suspect in the Friday slaying of a 17-year-old boy. The lead officer’s gun went off after he encountered a 46-year-old woman inside the front room of the home and “some level of physical contact” ensued. Police do not believe the gun was fired intentionally. I wish I had more knowledge of what police officers can do because a situation like this, can happen to anyone. Upon entering, you can just set off a flash grenade? What happened to being innocent BEFORE proven guilty? Okay, so “some level of physical contact” ensued…um, you are not alone. If the woman attacks you, okay, I feel you have a right to self defense, but if you are not alone then there is enough manpower there to restrain the woman. However, why couldn’t you just knock on the door and say you have a search warrant? If they didn’t let you in, then I can see you busting the door in, but not throwing in a flash grenade.
“This is any parent’s worst nightmare. It also is any police officer’s worst nightmare,” Godbee said.
Family members identified the woman as the child’s grandmother and Charles Jones’ mother, Mertilla Jones, who has said she was not involved in a struggle with the officer. Police later said the officer may have just collided with the woman. I think that Mrs. Mertilla might be telling the truth. I think the cop might be trigger happy. However, I do realize that I wasn’t there and it is her word against the officer’s.
The officer was put on paid administrative leave and police are investigating, Godbee said.
“This is a tragedy of unspeakable magnitude to Aiyana’s parents, family and all those who loved her,” Godbee said. “It is a tragedy we also feel very deeply throughout the ranks of the Detroit Police Department.”
Charles Jones said he had to wait for hours to find out what happened to his daughter. Does this sentence say hours???
“Her blood was everywhere and I was trying to stay calm, but nobody would talk to me. None of them even tried to console me,” Jones told The Detroit News.
The officers had a search warrant and were looking for a 34-year-old man suspected in the shooting death of Jarean Blake. Officers arrested the suspect during a search of the building, Godbee said.
Godbee would not comment on newspaper reports that neighbors told police there were children in the house and showed them toys in the front yard. The girl’s father said three other children besides Aiyana were in the home when the raid happened.
Charles Jones said he was trying not to be angry but wanted the story to be told. He said Aiyana was a lively child who loved to sing and had recently developed an interest in Hannah Montana and the Justin Bieber song “Baby.”
“She was just figuring out what she liked, what she wanted to do with her life,” her father said. “I want this story to be heard. This was a wrongful death.”
I am still trying to figure out how I am supposed to trust police officers when I keep reading things like this in the news. I know that there are crooked cops. I’m still reading The Rise and Fall of Big Meech & the Black Mafia Family, which proves that. An innocent little girl was murdered at the hands of men who are supposed to “serve & protect.” Are these raids even planned? How do you make the decision to just go in someone’s house with a flash grenade?
*SHAKES HEAD* The world outside my window.
Kimora Lee Simmons goes in as well…this is straight from globalgrind.com:
Damn Detroit Police Department! You burned, shot and killed Aiyana Jones, a little seven year old girl.
You threw a stunt grenade through the front window and lit the little girl’s blanket on fire! And then you shot off a bullet that landed in her neck! We know you were looking for the suspect in the murder of a 17 year old, but according to the family and other witnesses, that person was in the upstairs apartment
And while this defenseless angel was lying in her blood, taking her very last breathes, you handcuffed her father and put his face in his daughter’s last remains! First you said that the grandmother attacked the officer who pulled the trigger that pierced the neck of Aiyana, and now you have revised your story to say that the grandmother “may have simply collided” with the officer. No matter what happened, you should never have used those tactics, because there were children in the house. And of course you knew that – since there were toys all over the front lawn! Now that a family has been shattered and a life has been lost, an entire community is left to question, “How could this happen?”
How, in this age of unfettered technology, did you get this so wrong?!! It’s my sincere hope that the cameras for A&E’s “The First 48” television series that trailed you and filmed the whole incident didn’t spur your heroics! I know reality shows, very well indeed. Please tell me that this wasn’t a performance for the cameras!
As the family has said, and I agree, the officer who shot Aiyana is not a “monster”. I do not believe that his actions were intentional, but the slapdash techniques with which these kinds of raids are executed concerns me.
We have militarized our police force, and in doing so, created a war between those who are suppose to protect AND serve our communities with the men, women and children that live in them! We break down doors in our own neighborhoods, the way we break down doors in Baghdad or Kabul. We treat our very own citizens as if they are on the other side. We have lost the connection we once had with our police force. We are afraid of them and they are afraid of us!
If we do not rethink this style of policing, Aiyana Jones will have been lost in vain! Her lesson is an echo of the horror visited upon Trevor Casey and his family – that law enforcement must be held accountable, which is why I support a federal investigation in the death of this little girl.