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. Tara

    Sad that they're filling a suit when it what's the womans fault who jumped up to fight the police...sue HER!

    May 18, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  2. Mel

    Yes the original story mentioned a woman in the house struggling with the office and the struggle causing the gun to go off. If the officer can be held responsible for that and everyone sued over it then I hope the woman is held responsible as well with a murder charge since her struggle is what caused the gun to discharge.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:39 am | Report abuse |
  3. florida living

    wow...they have already filed a lawsuit??i mean it hasn't even been 3 full days...

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

      I know, right? When someone I love has been wrongfully murdered I just chill for awhile before I think of justice.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:49 am | Report abuse |
  4. LookHarderintoStories

    There were earlier stories with more detail. The girl was asleep on the couch when the police raided the house. Other stories mentioned that the officer that fired "ran into" the Grandmother or something like that. Nobody advanced on the police. The camera's from "The First 48" recorded the office thowing a flashbang through the window then firing his weapon into the house blindly.

    Of course, until the video is made public, this is all speculation.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:41 am | Report abuse |
  5. Gail C.

    I read that she was shot due to a struggle between an officer and someone in the house....if so....the person in the house killed her. Had they not struggled with the police, it would never have happened.

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

      ...unless what you read were lies by the police to cover up their bumbling? That is what the lawsuit states and may be what was recorded on video. Which side do you believe?

      May 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
  6. nobody

    earlier reports said the police went to find a suspect. when presenting the search warrant to a woman at the house she physically tried to stop the police. during the struggle the gun went off and struck the sleeping 7 year old. i feel for the child but guess what – the murder suspect was there and was arrested. had they not been trying to protect this person whom the police were searching for this tragedy would have never happened. and how quick to sue. has she even had a funeral yet? pathetic.

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

      THe murder suspect was NOT there. The police had the wrong residence. It was an apartment building. The murderer was in a different apartment.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:46 am | Report abuse |
    • Free

      The suspect was arrested on a different floor of the apt. So the police had the wrong house. Get your facts straight before you pass judgement.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  7. DDerwin

    "Funny how the part about a resident of the house attacking the first officer and causing the gun to go off randomly has been left out from this update. " – Nick

    That's because it was a lie the police made up.

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

      Ridiculous how people seem to say don't judge the police on their actions but judge the family of people they don't know but assume they are all crack heads.... And who said profiling stereotyping individuals in groups doesnt happen in post racial America... Its the blind hypocrit ignorants that believe this family because there black not living in suburbia are all crack heads harboring killers...When indeed it was the wrong residence... Just stick to the facts, the video and that a flash bang was thrown first and questions later. We werent there so chill on the public opinion of the victim... And please people Stop justifying the death of child as a burden of trash and filth

      May 18, 2010 at 2:20 pm | Report abuse |
  8. justme

    I think it says everything about the family of this young child when it's only Tuesday and they already have a lawyer and are filing the lawsuit. Only 2 days after her death. Honestly – don't they have a funeral to plan?? So sad, but maybe this child should not have had to live with the money-hungry-sue-happy parents. If an ambulance chasing attorney dared to show up at my door at this time in my life I probably would have shot him....

    May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  9. John

    The story yesterday said police had the wrong residence. No criminals, no one attacking, the girl was asleep on the couch. The police threw a smoke grenade, entered the residence, bumped into someone in the smoke and the gun "went off accidentally."

    May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  10. Diana

    According the the story I read yesterday, the little girl was tucked in by her father in the living room sofa, before he went to bed on Sunday. At about midnight, the house was rated while she was sleeping. The officers gun went off, according to the officer, after a physical interaction with an older women, which was the childs grandmother. That physical interaction has been denied, by the grandmother. No arrests were made from this home. My question is, why was this little girl not in a bedroom, instead of on a sofa? Why wasen't the parent in living room sleeping?

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

      I agree. I don't get that part either of her sleeping on the sofa. My child would not be sleeping on the sofa while I'm in a bed in a bedroom. Typically, sofas are in a living room which is the room an apartment door opens up into. (This is based on apartments I've lived in, which seem to be pretty standard.) I would want my child as far away from any possible intruder. Even if I lived in a safe area and crime was low, I would want to make sure my child was in a safe location because you just never know.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:24 pm | Report abuse |
    • Stacey

      Just to add to my earlier comment – Yes, this tragedy could have happened no matter where the little girl was sleeping if the police fired into the unit from outside. (I just don't like the idea of a child sleeping on a sofa.) I also don't know all the facts so will hold my judgment on who is guilty (police for randomly shooting, parents for putting child in harmful environment, etc.). I do think the officer will feel guilt his entire life for taking the life of a 7 year old girl. No matter the situation she was put in, she was an innocent and it's a shame that she is dead.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:33 pm | Report abuse |
  11. MDMZK

    The police threw flash grenades into the house, one of which may have struck the kid. When the police entered the house, they were confronted by a hysterical grandmother and somehow during this encounter the cop's gun git discharged killing the 7 year old. http://www.digitaljournal.com/article/292110. No winners in this story and we need more information but this could have been accidental but maybe heavy-handed.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:43 am | Report abuse |
  12. Tooty

    Hello? it was 12:45am and the cops detonated smoke bombs on the residents before entering!! If that happened to you, you would be totally confused and in a fight-or-die state, all you'd know is it's a home invasion and there is a lot of smoke. And the reality TV show that got a tape of it all, says the tape shows a cop firing INTO the house before entering.

    Some of you people who are all like "snif snif, well, they shouldn't have been harboring a criminal, then." They weren't! The criminal was in a nearby apartment. Not theirs.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:44 am | Report abuse |
  13. BLAH BLAK

    THIS ARTICAL DOES NOT DISPLAY THE FULL STORY

    THE POLICE WERE EXCUTING A WARRENT, ENTERED THE HOME AND IDENTIFIED THEMSLEVES AS OFFICERS THE MOTHER ATTACKED AN OFFICER TRYING TO WRESTLE THE GUN OUT OF HIS HAND WHEN THE GUN WENT OFF AND SHOT A STRAY BULLET WHCH HIT, AND KILLED HER DAUGHTER. THE MOTHER SHOULD BE HELD ACCOUNTABLE. NOT THE POLICE.

    May 18, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
    • John

      WRONG ANSWER! NOBODY ATTACKED THE POLICE.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:48 am | Report abuse |
    • johnnyb52

      if that is 100% true, then your right.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:50 am | Report abuse |
    • Heather

      Yeah, John knows because apparently he was there.

      May 18, 2010 at 11:59 am | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      The article fails to mentioned the wrong house due to the fact that it was adjacent to the correct house...it's sad that a little girl life was taken and for whatever reason you feel more compelled to make an arguement that somehow she derserver to die...it sad that you are even taking the time to comment on an issue that you care nothing about...not even the life that was taken.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
  14. charlotteman

    my heart goes out to all who are impacted by this tragedy. the little girl hasn't been buried and the family and some shister lawyers are ready to sue the city of Detroit. that's was sad!!1

    May 18, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
  15. LookHarderintoStories

    More details can be found here => http://cnews.canoe.ca/CNEWS/World/2010/05/18/13988066.html

    May 18, 2010 at 11:45 am | Report abuse |
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