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.
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.
[Your Name Here]
Photo credit: U.S. CID via Wikimedia Commons