Saturday, 31 January 2015 00:00

Case dropped against Detroit police officer who shot and killed 7-year-old girl while she slept

Written by Scout Finch | DailyKos

On May 16, 2010, a Detroit SWAT team raided the home of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones. As officers entered the home, Detroit Police Officer Joseph Weekley's gun went off, killing Aiyana, who was asleep on the couch with her grandmother.

After nearly 5 years and two previous trials that ended in a deadlocked jury, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy announced there would not be a third trial:

"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 in a prepared statement. "It is unfortunate that Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway granted a directed verdict dismissing the felony Manslaughter charged, leaving only the misdemeanor count of careless discharge causing injury or death. Under the law her decision cannot be appealed."

Judge Hathaway's decision in the second trial was perplexing:

The state Appeals Court agreed Hathaway "erred" in her decision, but said it didn't have the power to overturn it.

What made Hathaway's decision so surprising is that she'd heard Weekley's attorney, Steven Fishman, make the same motion to dismiss the manslaughter count during the officer's first trial in 2013, yet ruled in an opposite way.

A film crew from the A&E Network was on the scene when it happened:

Activists are still hoping for new charges:

Ron Scott, a spokesman for the Detroit Coalition Against Police Brutality, said he plans to request that the U.S. Department of Justice consider filing federal civil rights charges against people responsible for the raid.

He said Weekley is just one person, adding an order was given to raid the home in the middle of the night. Aiyana was sleeping on a couch in the front room with her grandmother when she was shot.

"This episode, given what is happening nationally in terms of police-community relations, sets us back decades," Scott said in a statement. "We will continue the fight for justice for Aiyana ... since she is not here to fight for herself."

Link to original article from DailyKos

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