Demand Justice for Seven Year Old Slain by Police Officer

Target: Kym L. Worthy, Wayne County Prosecutor

Goal: To obtain a maximum sentence for an officer who shot and killed a seven-year-old girl during a police raid

During filming of an episode of The First 48, a television show similar to Cops, Detroit Police entered a home in search of a murder suspect. After throwing a flash grenade through a window — a device that emits a bright flash of light incapacitating occupants — police entered through the front door. Officer Joseph Weekley’s weapon discharged and shot seven year old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, killing her.

Weekley claims his weapon discharged after bumping into Aiyana’s grandmother. Weekley is set to stand trial facing charges of involuntary manslaughter, which carries a maximum sentence of fifteen years. He motioned for his case to be dismissed, and the motion was set aside by Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway. Jury selection begins this week, after Weekley has awaited trial for years.

The negligence with which Weekley operated is not only a testament to his misconduct, but the horrendous display of showmanship by the Detroit police force while being filmed. Throwing a flash grenade into a home occupied by elderly inhabitants and four children — one of which was Aiyana – was absolutely unnecessary. Detroit’s Mayor has already banned police from being shadowed by film crews, but the inherent problem of such a display has never been addressed.

Sign this petition to urge the Wayne County Prosecutor to pursue a maximum sentence for Weekley. While involuntary manslaughter may be lenient, the unjust slaying of an innocent child in a flashy police raid cannot go unpunished. Weekley’s sentence must serve as an example to other police, showing them that extreme precautions must be taken to prevent the death of innocents.

PETITION LETTER:

Dear Kym L. Worthy,

After a lengthy investigation, Officer Joseph Weekley will finally stand trial for the slaying of Aiyana Stanley-Jones. The nature of the case is shocking: Weekley, along with other officers, entered the Detroit home after the use of unnecessary and excessive means such as flash grenades. I feel that this was a display to provide entertainment for the accompanying film crew, and such negligence resulted in the loss of a child’s life.

While involuntary manslaughter charges seem to be a lenient penalty for this injustice, I urge you to pursue the maximum sentence for Officer Weekley. Weekley’s misconduct must show other officers in the Detroit area, and all throughout the nation, that extreme care must be taken to preserve innocent life — and excessive use of force will result in excessive loss of life.

Sincerely,

[Your Name Here]

Photo credit: U.S. CID via Wikimedia Commons

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11 Comments

  1. While it has to be accepted that the bullet that killed the child came from his gun, and that he pulled the trigger, Officer Joseph Weekley should NOT be facing trial, has he did not willfully or intentionally kill the child.
    The person entirely responsible for killing her, and the one being brought before the court charged with MURDER, (not involuntary manslaughter), is the murder suspect who the police were searching for.
    The police officers would not have been raiding the address and the child would still be alive, had the murder suspect not committed his or her original crime.

    • Matt Burda Matt Burda says:

      I disagree. Because this child was in the vicinity of a suspect, she should be subjected to harm? This suggests that the actions of a murder suspect are the responsibility of their children. She was in no way involved – the murder suspect did not directly contribute to her death, an officer did.
      Second, proper gun training dictates that the finger should never be on the trigger until one is aiming at their target, ready to fire – so things like this do not happen. This is negligence on the officer’s part.

      Should we blame children when their relatives commit crimes? Should we allow them to come into harm’s way due to a relative’s actions?

    • If I was among a group of friends who robbed a bank, and I knew that was going to happen, but all I did was play “getaway driver” and they killed someone, I would be charged with felony murder.

      When a DA or judge wants to prove a point and remind people that they can’t flout the law without consequences, they impose the harshest sentence on someone, even if they have the option to be lenient.

      That police officer stood by while one or more flashbangs were thrown into a residence with elderly and small children. He should be convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life without possibility of parole.

      • Meant to say “That police officer stood by while one or more flashbangs were thrown into a residence with elderly and small children. Then he entered the residence and shot one of the children to death. Accidentally or not it doesn’t matter. He should be convicted of felony murder and sentenced to life without possibility of parole.”

    • Warren Osborn says:

      I have a friend whose brother just started a 30 year sentence for accidentally killing a man in a traffic accident. How is this pig any less guilty?

    • Warren Osborn says:

      You are the second stupidest person I have had to deal with today. The person they were looking for is in no way responsible for what this pig did. He did not put that flash bang grenade or gun in that pig’s hand. He did that entirely on his own.

  2. Dana Ridgley says:

    There is simply no excuse for this officer’s actions. His actions are pure manslaughter, nothing less, and he should be so charged and prosecuted. Any “trained” police officer should know more than he has shown. He does not have the right to simply fire his weapon indiscriminately without knowing precisely where his bullet will land.

  3. Warren Osborn says:

    Hang the damned NAZI pig!

  4. based on the facts reported here,it’s seems that this was a terrible accident mostley caused by the way the police planed and carried out the operation.that’s where i believe the blame lies.the officer was acting i assume according to procedure,if so was in an unaviable dangerous situations for all those cocerned, police and innocent civilions both.i think tv cameras influenced the thinking behind this operation.

  5. Denise Millet says:

    Sooner or later that murderer would have come out of that house. All they had to do was wait.
    It is not exactly the police officer’s fault. It is the entire sytem’s fault. There way is not working or has anyone not noticed this yet? I am sure this officer is having nightmares for “accidentally” shooting and killing a child.
    The police force should be held accountable for the military style policing!
    It isn’t just Detroit!
    Remember WACO, TX? They could have and should have waited for the perp to come out!
    All this is for show!!!
    The poor children. What they are going through is wrong on both sides!

  6. Involuntary manslaughter CHARGES are not a “penalty.” In fact, charges are just that, someone is being charged with a crime. A penalty is the punishment. What I think you meant by “involuntary manslaughter charges seem to be a lenient penalty for this injustice” is: The charge of involuntary manslaughter appears to be not sufficiently serious for the injustice that occurred. Or you could say that the killing of the child seems to be more than “involuntary manslaughter.”

    In any case, please study up on the meaning of legal terms like “penalty”, “charges”, etc.

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