Abayomi Azikiwe, editor of the Pan-African News Wire, pictured at the Michigan Roundtable Festival on Belle Isle in Detroit during the summer of 2008. Azikiwe has written extensively on Pan-African and world affairs over the years. (Photo: Alan Pollock), a photo by Pan-African News Wire File Photos on Flickr.
Mistrial Declared in Detroit Cop Killing of 7-Year-Old Child
White officer walks free while prosecution will seek another trial on July 25
By Abayomi Azikiwe
Editor, Pan-African News Wire
Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley has been allowed to walk free as a mistrial was declared in the shooting death of Aiyana Stanley Jones over three years ago. Jones, only 7-years-old on May 16, 2010, was shot to death by Weekley during a late night raid that was captured by the video crew of the A&E network program “The First 48.”
After the jurors were not able to reach a verdict, Wayne County Circuit Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway declared a mistrial. Prosecutors say that they want to hold another trial and a hearing is scheduled for July 25.
Weekley was charged with involuntary manslaughter, a felony, and reckless discharge of a firearm, a misdemeanor. Some of his fellow officers reported under oath that Weekley was never attacked by the grandmother of Aiyana Stanley Jones, Mertilla, who also gave testimony during the trial that Aiyana’s shooting was unprovoked.
Weekley said the shooting death of Jones was an accident because her grandmother grabbed his weapon. Prior to the cops entering the Jones home, a flash bang grenade was thrown through the front window landing on the bed where Aiyana was sleeping.
The subject of the raid was located in the flat upstairs from where the raid took place. News of Aiyana’s death was carried around the world.
Fige Bornu of the Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee said in response to the mistrial that “This is a bittersweet outcome: Bitter because Weekley was not convicted and sweet in that justice for Aiyana Jones will come soon.”