May 18th, 2010
11:18 AM ET

Family of Michigan girl killed in police raid files lawsuits

An attorney representing the family of a 7-year-old Detroit, Michigan, girl killed in a police raid filed lawsuits in state and federal courts Tuesday, accusing the police of a cover-up.

"This type of activity by a police force is unacceptable in America," said Michigan attorney Geoffrey Fieger at a news conference in his office. "What is equally unacceptable is the cover-up that has occurred."

Fieger said the lawsuits allege gross negligence, a violation of civil rights and a conspiracy to cover up the violation of civil rights.

Aiyana Jones died early Sunday after she was hit by gunfire during a police raid at her home.

Detroit Assistant Police Chief Ralph Godbee has said that police were executing a search warrant for a suspect in a shooting two days earlier that killed a high school student.

He said preliminary information indicated that members of the Detroit Police Special Response Team approached the house and announced themselves as police.

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Filed under: Justice
soundoff (339 Responses)
  1. J Carter

    You just don't shoot a 7 year old on purpose, it had to be an accident. But after the shooting the police tried to fabricate an excuse for the insident. They had the wrong address, and because of that a little girl is dead. These guys have a tough job to do, but they also have a tough time of telling the truth. All of the people that were involve will now have that little 7 year old on their mine for ever.

    May 18, 2010 at 4:17 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Juan

    Im guessing the WHITE teenager was killed over his heroine addiction which then enraged the WHITE officers (also heroine addicts). How is it that a gun was pointing at the exact same hiegth of the little girls face? This is obviously an act of revenge! Plus on top of it all the officers were already heated from finding dog sh%@ inside their donuts!

    May 19, 2010 at 12:04 am | Report abuse |
    • cb

      Well said, Juan!!!!

      May 19, 2010 at 10:26 am | Report abuse |
  3. cb

    Racists just seem to have a problem understanding that Mexico isn't the only country that is full of corrupted people that have other people as a cover-up for their crimes. This is very sad and I pray that justice is served for the sake of this child. The child wasn't hiding the man, as many has claimed on yesterday's comments!

    May 19, 2010 at 10:16 am | Report abuse |
  4. jenny

    okay so if the little girl was killed by a rival gang mem ber, there would be no suit . their familys actions caused this girls death, black people are so quik to get rich off the system, small price for them to pay with the girls death...less foodstamps., yes its very wrong saying...but police have to defend themselves, they are going into criminals homes not civilized people. with all the gang violence here in chicago, id probably discharge my weapon before a raid. Poor policeman that shot the girl, i hope he doesnt loose his job.

    May 19, 2010 at 5:55 pm | Report abuse |
    • Navyboy

      Please tell me you're not suggesting they wanted their little girl to get shot?!

      May 20, 2010 at 1:35 am | Report abuse |
    • Navyboy

      You do know this happened in Detroit not Chicago. Did you even read any of what transpired?
      Dare I say, you might have a tinge of racism within you?

      May 20, 2010 at 1:39 am | Report abuse |
  5. muffin

    @ jenny: I'm not black but your are so naive if you think only black people are quick to get rich off the system. Sweetie I worked for a lawyer all through high school and the number of white males who get away with millions from insurance fraud is astronomical. Please the so-called food stamps poor people receive doesn't even touch the billions that we get from insurance scams.

    You're not making comments based on facts, your making comments based on hate. Everyone knows the police have a dangerous job but they receive excellent training to perform that job. So if for some reason an officer doesn't follow protocol (just like at any other job) he must answer for his actions.

    May 19, 2010 at 7:13 pm | Report abuse |
  6. muffin

    If a bus driver made a mistake while driving and killed one passenger on his bus...the bus driver would be held responsible. If a plane went down due to pilot error and one person on the plane died...the pilot would be responsible. If a train conductor made a mistake that caused the death of one passenger...the conductor would be held responsible. It wouldn't matter if in EACH of these scenarios the passengers on board were all inmates being transferred to a new prison. All of us who have jobs are held accountable when we make a mistake and don't follow protocol...so why wouldn't a police officer be held to those same standards.

    May 19, 2010 at 7:28 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Shay...Who hates stupid ppl

    Whoever is saying the child deserves to be shot than I wish your love ones or child get killed. OK wow, the woman was fighting with the police if that is the case why they didn't tazer her or shot her. Please answer that questions and take your stupid comments some where else

    May 19, 2010 at 7:35 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Silly

    Man ....get the story straight. It was not a 2 family drug house..it was church. And it was having chior practice....The "police" was really autobots, There was no shots fired, they were .....you get the idea.

    Believe NOTHING YOU READ and only half of what you see!! Wait for the investigation. The feds will be eyeing this case. My heart goes out to the child victim. Finally, people, you had better wake up and cut the crap of pointing fingers till you know the facts, or else, God help us all!!

    May 20, 2010 at 1:13 am | Report abuse |
  9. Navyboy

    This was just bad police work. The cop should have done a little due-diligence to see if there was any children in the house before setting off flash grenades.
    I know 95% of cops are good hard working people that want to serve their community, but some are just not cut out to be cops.
    We all can monday morning quarterback, but in the end an innocent girl lost her life. And for that the people who brought the guns will have to answer for that.

    May 20, 2010 at 1:33 am | Report abuse |
  10. sandy

    You are all assuming the grandmother was fighting with the cops. And even if she was, wouldn't you??? I know if I was sleeping on the couch with my granddaughter and someone came barging in, I sure as hell would want to know why!!! The police act like God, they can do no wrong. I hope this famiily sues the pants off them all and wins. How dare you people say they were involved in drugs. Not ONCE does it say that in this article. The police overreacted and killed a little girl. They should pay.

    June 1, 2010 at 2:53 pm | Report abuse |
  11. opinionated

    Someone posed the question wanting to know why CNN would post a story with so few fact based details. The answer is that no matter what information the public is given, by and large most do not have the intelligence to put emotions aside and just look at the facts. People see what they want to see, all you have to do is take a look at the varied emotionally charged comments here to know that regardless of right or wrong, fact or fiction, people generally feel before they think.
    I have a fourteen year old child that I love dearly. As such, I have made it my mission in life to keep him free from danger and harm. Would I be devastated if the police came into my home and killed him, accidental or not? Absolutely. The thing is, the parents do have to carry some of the guilt here IF it is discovered that anyone within that family participated in any kind of criminal activity. When I try to picture myself in the same situation, I can easily say that I know the outcome would be different. If the police were to enter my home while my family was sleeping I would be startled by the noise involved. The first move I made would be to get to my sons room, tell him to stay out of sight until I tell him otherwise and then I would communicate as loudly as possible with the police to find out what was going on.
    Let's just use a little common sense here. Even if there was an unprofessional, untrained, or corrupt cop involved, no one is ignorant enough to be carrying a badge to uphold the law and keep the community safe and then just randomly fire into a home for no reason. It doesn't happen and anyone that tries to state otherwise is just a fool. I don't know any police officers personally but I have been observing a city full of them doing their job all my life. Police officers are just people, trained and armed, but still just individuals who have good days and bad days, save lives and take lives, commit heroic acts and make terrible mistakes each and every day.
    I am not suggesting that this poor innocent girl deserved to lose her life, not at all. Something went terribly wrong that night and an inquiry needs to be made. Procedures need to be reviewed, policies need to be implemented and possibly even discipline needs to occur. What I'm trying to say is only that if it were my son, if it were me, the last place I would want to be looking for justice in the loss of my child's life would be through monetary compensation. That's just sickening and disrespectful. I would want to honor my child's memory through fighting to find out what went wrong and helping to get legislation passed and policies changed to prevent it from happening to some other innocent child. As a parent I know I couldn't in good conscience spend a dime of any money that was gained through my son's death, accidental or otherwise. How many dollars would it take to replace my son? A million? More? The answer is there isn't enough money on the planet to ease the pain I would feel over his loss. So, I don't comprehend why these parents have hit the ground running with a law suit. If the excuses that are being made for that are along the lines of "Well, they have to act quick because the police are corrupt and will destroy evidence to cover up a murder", all I want to say is: you somehow think the legal justice system is any less guilty of corruption and cover ups for financial or political gain??? I'm sorry but I feel that initiating a multi million dollar lawsuit so soon after this child's death only suggests that the parents priorities, morals, and plain common sense are severely askew.
    The last observation I want to make is while it's wonderful that so many people care enough to offer support to these parents who have lost their child, saying that the best outcome would be for them to "sue the pants" off the city or win a multi-million dollar lawsuit against the police department are not looking at the big picture. If these parents do by some chance win a multi million dollar lawsuit against the city and or the police department, where do you think the money comes from??? I'll tell you where, the taxpayers pocket. So the next time someone makes a comment like that, I would hope that they would also be willing to make a very substantial donation to a charity in this poor little girl's name because that is what the effects of their winning outcome would be. Wouldn't it make more sense to keep the tax dollars where they need to be? Wouldn't it make more sense for those millions to go into more officers, better training, a better system and safer streets for generations of seven year old girls? The parents deserve an explanation, community support, assistance with grief for their family, and a display or real concern, caring and compassion from the city. They are not deserving of the equivalent to a lottery win, that wouldn't give this little girl justice and it's no way to honor her memory.

    September 11, 2010 at 11:34 pm | Report abuse |
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