7-Year-Old Killed During Police Raid Filmed by Reality TV Crew, Grandmother Testifies

The grandmother of a seven-year-old shot and killed by Detroit cops in 2010 testified this week in court about what she saw that night--and the details are harrowing.

The 50-year-old Mertilla Jones said that the police “came to kill” and that when they shot Aiyana Stanley-Jones she saw “the light leave out of her eyes and the blood started gushing out her mouth and she was dead,” according to the Associated Press. The police came in and immediately threw a stun grenade before the shot was fired that killed Stanley-Jones.

She said her head was propped up on the couch armrest while she slept, and that the officer held the gun right next to her when it went off. “The gun went off and shot her in the head. I started screaming and hollering. ... `Y'all done killed my grandbaby,’” said Jones.

Stanley-Jones was killed by a Detroit police special response team, and now the officer who pulled the trigger, Joseph Weekley, is on trial for involuntary manslaughter. The death of the seven-year-old captured national attention. The team was being followed by a reality television show crew.

In court, another member of the police team that conducted the raid said they didn’t know children were in there, even though a neighbor testified he tried to tell the police that there were kids inside. But when officer Larry Davis was asked whether the police would have changed tactics had they known a seven-year-old was in there, he replied: “Probably not.”

The grandmother said in court that “they knew there were children in there. So why would they come in there like that? They came to kill, and they killed a 7-year-old.”

The raid was meant to nab murder suspect Chauncey Owens, who was arrested that night. He lived in the upstairs apartment.


Enjoy this piece?

… then let us make a small request. AlterNet’s journalists work tirelessly to counter the traditional corporate media narrative. We’re here seven days a week, 365 days a year. And we’re proud to say that we’ve been bringing you the real, unfiltered news for 20 years—longer than any other progressive news site on the Internet.

It’s through the generosity of our supporters that we’re able to share with you all the underreported news you need to know. Independent journalism is increasingly imperiled; ads alone can’t pay our bills. AlterNet counts on readers like you to support our coverage. Did you enjoy content from David Cay Johnston, Common Dreams, Raw Story and Robert Reich? Opinion from Salon and Jim Hightower? Analysis by The Conversation? Then join the hundreds of readers who have supported AlterNet this year.

Every reader contribution, whatever the amount, makes a tremendous difference. Help ensure AlterNet remains independent long into the future. Support progressive journalism with a one-time contribution to AlterNet, or click here to become a subscriber. Thank you. Click here to donate by check.

alternet logo

Tough Times

Demand honest news. Help support AlterNet and our mission to keep you informed during this crisis.