Lest We Forget

Aiyana Stanley-Jones2002-2010

On 16 May 2010 the Detroit Police Department's Special Response team raided an apartment where they believed a suspect of a murder which had happened two days before. At the time, 7 year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was sleeping on the couch next to her grandmother, who was watching TV.

The officers fired a flash grenade through the front window and immediately after entering the apartment officer Joseph Weekley fired his gun. The bullet hit Aiyana in the head.

Joseph Weekley claimed that the he was blinded by the light of the flash grenade but that a women reached for his gun and the shot went off, killing Aiyana.

Aiyana's grandmother said she reached for Aiyana because her blanket had caught fire from the grenade. She said she did not reach for the officer's gun. It was confirmed later that her fingerprints were not find on the officer's gun.

The raid was filmed by A&E as part of their true-crime TV show The First 48 in which police is supposed to solve a crime within 48 hours. Because the murder case they were trying to solve happened two days before they were running out of time.

Not only did the officers act with unnecessary force, they also raided the wrong apartment. The suspect they were looking for lived in the apartment upstairs. Joseph Weekley was initially convicted of involuntary manslaughter, but a judge later dismissed that charge.