The city of Detroit has agreed to an $8.25 million settlement to the family of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was fatally shot during a police raid in 2010.
The settlement comes just days before a civil trial in the case was set to begin, according to the Detroit Free Press.
“Aiyana’s death was a tragic loss for her family and has been a heavy burden on our community,” Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said in a statement announcing the settlement. “We believe today’s settlement is fair because it balances the needs of Aiyana’s family and our responsibility for the city’s finances.
“We hope this resolution will provide everyone involved a measure of closure,” Garcia concluded.
Stanley-Jones, 7, was shot and killed when a bullet from Detroit officer Joseph Weekley‘s gun struck her in the head as she slept on the couch of her family’s duplex during the raid. Officer’s had stormed the home in a chaotic search for an accused murder suspect on May 16, 2010.
Weekley, a former member of the department’s elite special response team, claimed his gun accidentally went off during a tussle with the little girl’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones.
Family attorney Geoffrey Fieger said Aiyana’s relatives are pleased the case has been resolved after almost a decade. He added that the settlement will finally allow the city, Aiyana’s family and Officer Weekley to move on and heal from the tragedy.
“Nothing is going to bring Aiyana back,” Fieger said last Thursday. “ [But] It allows the family to have some closure.”
The settlement is now awaiting approval from the Detroit City Council.
In 2011, Weekley was indicted on charges of involuntary manslaughter, a and careless discharge of a firearm causing death, the Free Press reported. The Detroit officer was tried twice, and both trials ended in hung juries. A judge later dropped the involuntary manslaughter charge during the second trial in 2014, citing lack of evidence.
Chauncey Owens, whom police were looking for in the raid, was eventually arrested in an upper-floor apartment of the duplex where Aiyana and her family lived. A crew working for the TV show “The First 48” filmed outside as police arrested Owens for the murder of Je’Rean Blake, 17, which occurred outside a local convenience store days before the raid. Owens would be convicted of murder in Blake’s slaying, and Aiyana’s father, Charles Jones, was convicted of second-degree murder for providing the gun Owens used to kill Blake.