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. Kyle

    I find it sad that people would even begin to think this girl deserved this. I also find it sad that this was done. No matter what the cause or crime that was committed no one should love their life before a trial. Most speacially a child of that age. I dont believe this girl was the suspect was she. I truly believe that this department needs to stand up and take full responsibility. Yeah the parents or parent may be a suspect and caused other grief but this child had nothing to do with any of it.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:00 pm | Report abuse |
  2. mary

    dont matter what we have to say, there's a innocent baby dead. ( a 7 yr old child ) a child that had no clue that day was her last... i hate cops there pig ba******... they get a power trip or something. their terrible people.. that is my opinion. lil girl my prayers are with you baby girl, your safe now...

    May 18, 2010 at 12:01 pm | Report abuse |
  3. premonick

    the story never said if the 7 year old was packing heat, i heard alot of 7 year olds pack heat in detroit.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:02 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      Where in the h%ll did you hear that? And if it's meant to be a joke... makes you a sad person

      May 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  4. I can read - can you?

    First, every story – regardless of where you get it – states IN A DIRECT QUOTE FROM THE DETROIT POLICE that "there was some level of physical contact." Nowhere in any of the stories is there anything about an officer being "attacked."

    Second, there was no murder suspect in HER HOME. He was located in another apartment in the building. So, no, he wasn't "there." The police had faulty intelligence as to his whereabouts and were even warned by neighbors that children were present before they entered.

    And the greatest of all of these???? The idiots TAPED it.

    As much as it may turn some of our stomachs that the family is suing already, I honestly don't know if any parent out there wouldn't do the same thing if their child was gunned down by a police officer in such a manner and we were offered the immediate contingent services of one of the best plaintiff's attorneys in the state.

    Of course, we all know the police would never, ever come into OUR homes since we obviously all live in lily-white suburbia with our picket fences and porch swings and no shady neighbors, don't we?

    May 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArrowofThyme

      A reasonable post? On CNN? Get away ye, go to the better media where ye belong!

      May 18, 2010 at 12:06 pm | Report abuse |
  5. KD

    The article does not say they were living in an apartment, it says they were living in a HOUSE. Child Endangerment charges should be filed against the parents for harboring a fugitive and putting this little girl at risk. More wasted tax dollars at work protecting "victims" rights? BS. It is very sad and unfortunate but the parents should have known better.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DownTownBrown

      It was a duplex. And you're an idiot.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • MotoJB

      AMEN

      May 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • KD

      You two must be Victims..

      May 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Felix

    Yes, I hope the family wins big money from this LAWSUIT and goes to live in a PLACE they feel SAFER- I told the family to file a lawsuit when the story first hit-but I bet an attorney got to them FIRST–Yeah, they can't bring their child back=but I hope this money makes them go somewhere they will fill SAFE!

    May 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • KD

      Not from money received from the city but from the parents of the murderer they were looking for....

      May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
  7. CD

    It's amazing how many people want to jump all over the police without even knowing the facts of the story! I think that if you have that much hate for police then maybe it's because you are a criminal and/or not a contributing member of society. Why else would you have so much hatred toward an officer?? Obviously you've dealt with them before...and not in a good way. These officers have a tough job to do and if there weren't so many shady, nasty people out there, they wouldn't get put in these situations!

    May 18, 2010 at 12:03 pm | Report abuse |
    • DownTownBrown

      Yeah we must be criminals for being mad at police killing an innocent child. WHAT MONSTERS WE ARE!!! Seriously guy.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • CD

      Police don't know what they are coming into. They have to protect themselves. It's the parents job to keep that child safe! Obviously, if they are in trouble with the law, they don't really have their children's safety in their best interest now do they!?!

      May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • CD

      Every decision I make in life, I think about how it may or may not effect my children or family. This child's parent(s) let a killer into their house......hmmm.....I don't care if he's family or not.....your kids well being should always come FIRST!!!!!

      May 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • I can read - can you?

      I am a graduate degree toting, full time working, productive, law abiding, contributing member of society. I respect law ENFORCEMENT officers – those who do their jobs and honor their badges, professions and communities. Detroit "Police" officers have a hard time realizing that they serve and protect their community. Not themselves. As far as "not knowing what he was walking into"... cops never do, but they can't go in trigger happy just for the sake of self preservation. I personally can't wait to hear if the A&E filming captured the cop shooting from outside the house. I can only imagine how DPD will try to tapdance out of THAT...

      And if the mean streets of Detroit are just too much for those cops to handle and they want a safer, cushier job... They can move to Saugatuck. I hear the art festival is just gorgeous...

      May 18, 2010 at 12:45 pm | Report abuse |
    • I can read - can you?

      P.S. Her father didn't let anyone into "the house". They lived in an apartment. The suspect was in another apartment in the same building. But since people who live in a complex are letting all those other bad people in "their" home simply by residing under the same physical roof, CPS/DFS should be geared up and ready to go every time someone in an apartment building is arrested. Hey... that might be one way to clear out New York! Take the kids and arrest all the parents for having the audacity to live in such sub-human boxes as apartments!

      May 18, 2010 at 1:36 pm | Report abuse |
  8. tonyS

    You do the crime, you get what comes. If you're going to be a criminal, then don't surround your family with it.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArrowofThyme

      ...because cops always raid the right house instead of routinely screwing up the address or getting a warrant for someone that turns out to be innocent. I'm totally cool with cops being allowed to go in any situation guns-a-blazing as part of their job because bullets only hurt the guilty.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  9. Detroit Worker

    If anyone watched the press conf. one can quickly realize that Fieger is trying to inciting a riot to gain momentum. This guy only takes on highly controversial cases. This is nothing new with him, pit him against a real lawyer say, um I don't know Attorney General Mike Cox and the Tamara Green case, he backs off. Or if he attempts to go against Wayne County Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy he backs off. However, pit him against the DPD, and all of a sudden he comes running. I am sure he was making a house call as soon as the news broke about the little girls death. He's not foolish, he knows how to get paid and what his true talent is. However, if the case isn't controversial, he quickly refers the case out. BTW, ask Jack if he would allow Fieger to represent him again. There is a reason Michigan doesn't want him as a Governor, we don't want someone who ignores the real problem, and is only concerned about making thier pockets fatter.

    It's very sad this child lost her life. Accidents do happen. I am sure the police were not expecting a child to be where the nade went off. Accident or not, there was a known MURDERER in the house. The father of the child was seen at the store the 17 year CHILD was MURDERED by the child's uncle. For what? Because someone didn't like the way they were looked at. There is a reason for everything, we don't always know the reason. However in this situation, it's very obvious. The higher power from where ever is executing an eye for an eye.

    I say the family shouldn't get anything, EXCEPT for the remaining children in the house to be taken away. I believe Fieger should be brought up on charges of trying to inciting a riot!

    DPD hasn't said much about this, they need to be out in the community assuring the public that if any criminal wrong doing had occurred, justice will take over. However, sitting back not saying anything is only allowing Detroit residents to talk about it, grow bitter about the issue. People in Detroit don't have much to look forward too, the city is a waste land.. and issues like this just add fuel to the fire of allowing the immature, selfish and irresponsible to take over. Why would any business want to come to Detroit? Detroit is a representation of Michigan, wonder why we have the highest unemployment rate.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:04 pm | Report abuse |
  10. Vince

    This is a terrible tragedy...but I'm always warry of those who file suit before the funeral has even been held...or before the criminal investigation is complete. Unfortunately, it makes this family look like they are using this as a cash cow...poor taste!

    May 18, 2010 at 12:05 pm | Report abuse |
    • DownTownBrown

      Yeah, let the police investigate themselves. That never goes wrong.

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

      My point was, if this had happened to my family, I think my main focus less than 48 hours after, would be remembering my family member and making the arrangements that need to be made first....not getting on suing.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      Vince, I'm not sure if you have children and you shouldn't judge a people's path without knowing all of the details...the fact that this just happened and a lawyer is on the case...says to me that 9 times out of 10 this family was contacted by this lawyer... and probably more who wanted the case. Normally, lawsuits of this nature are filed after the criminal case but not this time...It's serious! The police f%%cked up in this case.

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

      It's also a good idea to get a lawyer. Seriously. IF you believe that the police did anything wrong (and are trying to cover it up), a lawyer is really your only choice to dig into this. This NEEDS to be done DURING the investigation...that way, IF there is any evidence, you might be able to get it before it's destroyed/altered/hidden. Note...I used the word if...there isn't enough info to actually decide one way or the other yet.

      The other reason to get a lawyer is the police usually seem to try to charge at least someone for something in an instance like this. IF (again, we don't really know) had an "altercation" (bumped into, hell ASKING A QUESTION) can get you charged. Sometimes they don't decide for days if they are going to do that or not. Having a lawyer immediately following something like this is a good idea.

      However, the actual lawsuit may be going a little far. You may need to sue to get info however...

      May 18, 2010 at 12:32 pm | Report abuse |
  11. Guy

    The last report I read said somthing about a person combating the officer at the door and the weapon firing during confrontation. Maybe we should compy with authority officals when they have the backing of our law system and these very unfortunate things will not happen. That man will not be sleeping for some time with what has happened. Poor people dragging him through the mud on some bunk lawsuit isn't going to help.

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

      If you're a cop and can't handle a grandmother without shooting at her, you shouldn't be a police. You have a tazer, a baton, pepper spray, etc. And you also have your physical training. So shuttup. He shouldn't have drawn a pistol and fired randomly into a house.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • Tami

      well, go back and read more...you don't have enough details...

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

    Best thing to do if a cop busts in your home is to protect yourself; fire first!

    May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • KD

      Dude, you should go back to eating people!!!!

      May 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  13. Buchanan

    For all those who call this family "crack heads" and "on welfare". Why do you assume they are either of these? The story never mentioned this and I’m certain you do not know these people in any way. It seems that those of you, who automatically assume such, are likely miseducated and need real world exposure. It would stand to reason that bizarre and insensitive comments would come from people like you. You live your lives in a box with blinders on. If being dumb is your thing, then live on… But, simply based on your thoughtless comments, everybody knows your deal.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:08 pm | Report abuse |
    • DWG

      Come on, get real...a picture tells a thousand words...grow up and smell the roses.

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

      DWG, you are "one of those people". Case in point.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:35 pm | Report abuse |
  14. Brandon

    Interesting bit of trivia here: Geoffrey Fieger represented one of the Columbine victims' families in a similar suit over Jeffco County's failure to act on information they had on one of the killers for over a year and the cover-up that ensued.

    He also represented Jack Kevorkian during his run-ins with the law over euthanasia. Danny Houston played him in the "You Don't Know Jack Movie" on HBO, haha.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:09 pm | Report abuse |
  15. DWG

    Cash cow...how much is your daughter worth...dead, or alive? I guess they can get them a new crib and Cadillac when they settle in court, or out!

    May 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArrowofThyme

      So you won't sue when the state murders your kid?

      May 18, 2010 at 12:15 pm | Report abuse |
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