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. Common Sense

    They are definitely not showing the whole news story. Neighbors warned the police that children were in the home and they ignored them. An officer "claimed" he was struck, not shot at, by the childs grandmother...even if that is the case was he trying to shoot the grandmother and accidently shot the child. That's no reason to shoot. The grandmother could have been retained. It's sad...

    May 18, 2010 at 11:36 am | Report abuse |
    • Mel

      They were executing a warrant for a murderer

      May 18, 2010 at 11:42 am | Report abuse |
    • TC

      The article stated previously that the women attacked, physically attacked the officer. That is when the gun discharged. So in reading that part of the article I would think this was not a a "shot out". It was an accident, not an intentional act.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
    • Common Sense

      The gun did not accidently go off, the officer shot the gun on purpose

      May 18, 2010 at 11:52 am | Report abuse |
  2. Allison

    It sounds like she was living in a very unsafe environment, poor thing. Very sad that she was killed. Is any of the residents in jail for what the house was raided for in the first place?

    May 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
  3. TFM

    Very sad, good thing all the lawyers are lining up for a payday. I bet a couple of mil will sure buy a lot of crack. Wait I am stereotyping just because the poor child was shot during a raid of her moms crack house does not mean they are crack addicts..... The little girl is not even in the ground yet and these blood suckers are circling her body.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • April

      you are sad.....................what crack house? I read it was a warrant for a MUDERER not a crack head and it wasn't even for anyone in the house this precious child resided in. She was 7 yeras old how could that be justified???? SMH

      May 18, 2010 at 12:12 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jen

    Of course they sued, they were probably thinking they won the lotto as soon as their child died. She's not even cold yet. Police have a hard job, and from reading about what happened I'm certain that they not only acted appropriately, but also feel horrible about it. The officer who fired the weapon will probably lose his job when these parents put their child in harms way to begin with by harbouring a criminal. I don't usually comment on news stories but this one makes me sick. I would never have my children in a situation where there would be a possibility of a confrontation like that. They should be arrested for harbouring a criminal, and child endangerment.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • TC

      I agree, this is what I do not understand. They are not hitting the fact that the parents were in the wrong in the first place. I think they will need to go back and pull the DYFS records. WHY WAS this child in the house in the first place?? I understand it is a very sad thing, but why was she there? ANSWERS....

      May 18, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      perhaps you should read for comprehension. the physical building is a duplex. the warrant was executed on the *wrong unit* and the alleged criminal was *not* in the same unit as the family and little girl. The family & little girl were completely unrelated to the alleged criminal and were not harboring anyone. The police are completely in the wrong on this one.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:07 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      no where did I read her parents/grand parents were harbouring anyone...............where is that information? Are you people going by what you read or what some nutjob told you..............Believe NONE of what you hear and HALF of what you see..........How did they know a muderer was living in building as them? Do you truly know your neighbors? Yea I thought I knew mine too until I saw him on the news for fraud!!!!!!! We can all say what we would do, but until you are faced w/ that EXACT situation you don't know what you will do! R.I.P. little angel for you are truly in GOD's hand now.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:20 pm | Report abuse |
  5. TC

    Few things stand out to me about this issue, every article that I have read is NOT hitting the fact that this 7 year old child was in a DRUG HOUSE with a murder suspect in the area. I think they are forgetting that there was a VERY dangerous person, who just MURDERED a 17 year old child right near the 7 year old. NOW why was this person attacking a POLICE officer with the 7 year old next to her. I feel horrible about this child, BUT what is the ENTIRE store of this incident. It was NOT meant, there was NOT a "shot out".....the women attacked the police officer and the gun went off. DID she grab the gun?....MORE INFORMATION!!!!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • Kevin

      It doesn't matter what you say. The girl was seven years old! The police officers acted negligently by shooting her. They should be imprisoned. I feel that they are culpable and at the very least they are liable. We give police officers a license to protect, not a license to kill.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
    • April

      I'm still looking for confirmation that it was truly a drug house and not a rumor to cover someone's butt!!!!!! I don't care if it was crack house or a cat house..........this precious little angel was 7 yrs old!!!!. If they threw a flash grenade, does that mean they were the only ones who could see (I would hope they had on night vision) and if so, why would this cop pull his gun instead of a taser when he saw the grandmother coming at him for the sake of protecting her child/grand child. Lots of answers to justify the taking of this young life................If the police hurt/murdered anyone in my family, I'd have my lawyer there before the smoke cleared.........and it's not about the money, you can't put a price on any of my baby lives and that real..............the suite would be for the principal of it all...............millions or even billions could never replace the memories of a child or anyone for that matter. But the law suite may make them think twice in a similar situation. This whole mess could've been avoided if they only would've checked the address. Who's living at this address, is it a multi-family home, can we evalcuate the surrounding families, can we simply stake-out the house and catch him coming or going, do we pose as the mail man>pizza delivery man>census taker> I mean there had to be other options. I understand the suspect murdered a 17 year old and NEEDED to get caught but at the price of another life? If this little angel belonged to anyone of us.........I bet you wouldn't be SCREAMING foul then.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:51 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Bill

    So the family starts a law suit before the funeral?

    May 18, 2010 at 11:37 am | Report abuse |
    • ArrowofThyme

      I'm pretty sure they can plan both at once. I don't know – do you think they might be really angry at the police for some reason???

      May 18, 2010 at 11:47 am | Report abuse |
    • Bill

      Anger is one thing, but timing is everything.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:46 pm | Report abuse |
  7. Paul

    What a crappy article. The officer was attacked when he entered. Did you forget that? I have no comment on how the girl died as we weren't there and that's for the investigation to decide.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Smarterthanu

      Interesting theory since they shot first then entered and there was never a strugle...

      May 18, 2010 at 11:40 am | Report abuse |
    • Cynical Jay

      but you know for a fact that the officer was attacked??????

      May 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Donna

    It is very sad – however the child was sleeping on the couch, the accused murderer was in the house and the grandmother fought with the police officer to grab his gun – and the gun went off – at least that is what I read yesterday elsewhere. Either way, a little girl was killed – and that is very sad.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      No Donna, the excuse murderer was not in the home of the little girl but a home adjacent to her home...the police raided both because they didn't know which house find the suspect...I guess keeping the house under survelliance was never an option for the Police...they pretty much do what they want to...if you are not aware of this then be glad that the police you encountered are good...

      May 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
  9. La Migra's Wife

    Another reason to stop and do what your told when the police raid you house...if your hinding some one that they want for murder, then be prepared for the police to come. The person(wanted for murder) was arrested at the house during the is sad that a young child lost her life.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • AGeek

      NO. WRONG. If your home is being raided, FIRST you ask to see the warrant. THEN you call your attorney to verify the warrant is legit. You do NOT roll over and do whatever you're told. That's the first step in losing your liberty.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:18 pm | Report abuse |
    • April

      who was she hiding? I haven't read that anywhere. I did read however that he (the suspect) was fond in another apartment.

      May 18, 2010 at 2:14 pm | Report abuse |
  10. rsc

    although th echild dying is tragic and police misconduct should be looked into. HOwever, why is no one questioning why th ehome had a suspect that killed a high school student, this mother was harboring a known murderer she ought to be called for child endangerment. You cannot surround yourself around sleaze and criminals without paying a price. She also should be arrested for harboring a criminal and placing her child in that enviornment.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • April

      where di you read the mother was harboring this suspect? I read he was caught in a different apartment.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:55 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Heather

    Of course they are. That's the American way. When something horrible happens, find a good lawyer and try to profit from it. Whereas I feel badly for this family and their tragic loss, I think it is disgusting that they are seeking compensation before she has even been put in the ground. Can you imagine driving a brand new car or living in a large new home that was paid for simply because your child was killed? I can't. Instead of seeking money, they need to be seeking justice. I would rather see jail time for those responsible that receive compensation.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
  12. nookly23

    Was the suspect caught in the house? If so, then the parents put that child in danger by having a murder in the house. But I know, thugs are not to be held accountable for their actions.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • ArrowofThyme

      Neither are the police apparently.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
  13. robinb5895

    Wow......two days after the poor thing is killed, and already a lawsuit.??? has an actual like detailed report even come out on this yet? Im not doggin on the family but why doesnt everyone step back and take a deep breath....allow this little girl to be buried first at least.........RIP little one!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:38 am | Report abuse |
    • T&T

      can NOT agree with you more!!! facts are not even out there yet and a law suit is filed. you do not file a lawsuit that quick if you're ACTUALLY mourning the loss – sick sick sick. and as for the NOT get me started....sick sick sick!

      May 18, 2010 at 12:49 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Boris

    The fact remains that a innocent 7 year old child died needlessly. Why is the question that needs to be answered.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  15. Misty

    From what I read on the story (though not obviously here, as the author didn't even see fit to link to previous, more complete contributions) I do feel for the officer in all of this. If this was an accidental death, this man now has to live with the fact that he shot and killed an innocent little girl. Even by accident, his life is ruined. He will have to live with that.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
    • April

      Now I can agree w/ this...........this will haunt him forever and he should also SUE the force for poor training!!!!! Had he been trained properly, this might not have happened

      May 18, 2010 at 1:01 pm | Report abuse |
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