Manslaughter Charge Dropped for Cop Who Killed 7-Year-Old Girl

Originally published on October 5, 2014, at NationofChange.org

A judge has dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge against a Detroit police officer responsible for shooting a 7-year-old girl in the head. Although Officer Joseph Weekley has been caught lying about the incident to lessen the severity of his punishment, he has not been charged with perjury or obstruction of justice. With the felony manslaughter charge dropped, Weekley only faces a misdemeanor charge of negligent firing of a weapon causing death.

On May 16, 2010, a camera crew from A&E’s “The First 48” filmed the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team executing a “no knock” search warrant just past midnight. Seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones slept on the couch alongside her grandmother, Mertilla Jones. Wrapped within a blanket, Aiyana laid her head on the armrest next to the front door. Mertilla laid on the couch with her head on the opposite armrest.

A window shattered as police threw a flashbang grenade onto the couch burning Aiyana’s blanket. After opening the unlocked front door, Officer Weekley fired a single bullet into the top of Aiyana’s head. According to Macomb County Medical Examiner Daniel Spitz, the bullet had passed through her brain, exited through her neck, and grazed her chest.

Unbeknownst to the police, they had raided the wrong apartment. The suspect, Chauncey Owens, lived upstairs.

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