Detroit Officer Who Shot Young Girl During Raid Still Won’t Face Manslaughter Charge

Fatal shooting of young girl during police raid Prosecutors are facing a major loss in the case of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones after they were denied a motion to appeal a judge’s decision that threw out a charge of involuntary manslaughter against the officer who shot and killed her.

A panel of judges in the Michigan appeals court has been barred from reviewing last week’s decision by Wayne Country Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway.

Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley admitted to accidentally pulling the trigger on the young girl during a police raid in 2010.

Officers swarmed the home looking for a murder suspect but instead took the life of the young girl who was sleeping on the couch.

The murder suspect was not in the home during the time of the raid.

Last week, Hathaway dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge and claimed that the prosecution didn’t do enough to prove the officer disregarded his own training or was negligent during the raid.

“I don’t see evidence that [Weekley] willfully disregarded the results to others,” Hathaway said, according to CBS Detroit. “The entire trial has basically been about the carelessness of the defendant, based on his skills. If I am going to err, I’m going to err on the side of the defense.”

After the brief order was released Monday, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office announced it would file an emergency motion for reconsideration with the Michigan Court of Appeals.

The three-judge panel announced that it would not be reviewing Hathaway’s decision.

For the involuntary manslaughter charge, the prosecution did not have to prove any intent to kill – only that negligence led to Aiyana’s death.

Weekley says he pulled the trigger on accident when Aiyana’s grandmother grabbed for his gun. Aiyana’s grandmother denies interfering with the raid or grabbing for the officer’s weapon.

Since Aiyana’s death, TV crews have been banned from tagging along with officers.

The police raid was being filmed for an episode of the A&E TV show The First 48, and some people are blaming the chaotic nature of the raid on the camera crews.

The claims of Aiyana’s death being caused by her grandmother or that the TV crews were also a factor continue to place the blame on anybody and everybody except the officer.

Black Americans shot and skilled by police

(AP Photo/Carlos Osorio)

“The Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee as well as many groups around the world have worked for many years to exact justice for the reckless and avoidable killing of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones by the Detroit Police as she slept in her grandmother’s arms,” a statement released by the Aiyana Jones Committee on Monday said. “Obviously, the courts of justice do not value the lives of poor, Black youth, and thus, the Michigan Court of Appeals has ruled as it has.”

Roland Lawrence, chairman for the group, wanted to assure supporters of Aiyana’s family that the fight is not over just yet.

“That being said, we are pushing for a review of this matter by the Supreme Court,” he said. “Surely, the death of a baby by a well-trained police force must be deemed unacceptable in a civilized society. Aiyana’s family remains devastated, and this ruling by the high court does not help ease their pain.”

Weekley is gearing up for his second trial after the jury from last year’s trial failed to reach a verdict.

With the charge of involuntary manslaughter off the table, Weekley will only face a misdemeanor charge of reckless discharge of a firearm.

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