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. MF865

    After reviewing this blog and all the subsequent comment I'd like to add my two cents. I find it simply apalling that all these white commenters find it necessary to make judgments on the character of the people involved. First and foremost they were looking for a murder "suspect" who didn't even live in that residence. The word suspect fits the situation as the individual had not been tried and convicted of anything secondly who said that this poor family was living in a crack house, just because its a poor neighborhood. If that's the case let a little white girl get killed and we'll call it a meth house, and let me correct Susan, deadly forces is only legally warranted when the officers life is being threatened by deadly force, not when someone isn't cooperating but if u feel that way I hope the next cop you argue with shots u in the face. Thanks for your cooperation. Lastly, don't make comments about DPD before understand how crooked they are, these cops may not have been but its a strong possibility knowin the hook in the D-Educated College Student From 7mile

    May 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  2. Xerxes

    I live in Detroit. The policemen here are stupid. I bet only 10% of them have a high school diploma. The rest are GED retards. Detroit police could care less about you unless you have something they can confiscate for themselves. They are drug money thieves. I know this because of the stories the tell in bars.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:10 pm | Report abuse |
  3. Mike

    The good thing in all of this is that we now have one less future wellare candidate to worry about. Maybe her parents will learn their lesson

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

      This is the most insensitve, stupid comment I've seen on a board full of insensitive, stupid comments. A child has died, and her potential with her. She might have grown up to be a welfare recipient – or a doctor who cures cancer, the President of the United States, or a leader who could teach clods like you to have some respect.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:22 pm | Report abuse |
  4. Jessica


    May 18, 2010 at 12:11 pm | Report abuse |
  5. Beth

    The weapon went off because one of the family members got into a physical altercation with the officer and the weapon went off. It was reported yesterday. The police are to blame somewhat, but not if it was discharged as a result of the family member attacking them.

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

      This is old news and contradicted by more recent accounts. See other reports from the Detroit papers. It is now believed the cop fired the shot from the porch, after tossing in the flash grenade that caught the 7-year old girl on fire.

      May 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
  6. Juliansmommy02 in VA

    This is a tragedy but I do not doubt a cover up or excessive use of force. The one thing people need to relaize is that police offices, the president and even the pope are only human and will make mistakes, some times the mistakes are more tragic then others. May GOD bless Aiyana Jones and her family and may God see fit to have the truth prevail! Remember vengence is his!

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

    I can't speak to the actions of the police or whether the family should sue but this child died Sunday. It just seems to me that suing someone might come a little later in the process. Bury your child, grieve and spend time giving her life the honor it deserves and then look for the blame if necessary. Filing a suit two days after she died makes the family lose credibility.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:13 pm | Report abuse |
  8. Me

    @Patrickc3000 they even said the suspect was NOT in that house but in the conjoined house!!! Read carefully before commenting. I'm sure more and more information will come out about this once the video is reviewed carefully by defense attornies. My prayers go out to the family and damn right....sue til ya can't sue no more! I have plenty of friends who are cops. So this isn't against law enforcement. I just feel that if they weren't so worried about making a "great show for A&E" that they might have executed with a lot more caution when approaching the house. but hey, anything for ratings right? so sad.

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

    Wow all of you people and your comments are crazy. You all talk like you were a fly on the wall when this happened. Who cares about this stupid crap anyway. The kid would likely have been killed eventually or become a problem in some way to society considering her pea-brained parents and family are worse than clueless and obviously were not good parents. Use this incident as an classic text book example of how NOT to live your life and how NOT to endanger the welfare and safety your children and family.

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

    As a former Police Officer and a father, I have mixed feelings. The policies regarding SWAT teams are pretty don't want to knock and announce yourself: "hi guys, we are here to arrest you, so please let us in". I have seen too many cops killed by traffickers and other low-lives so our cops need to protect themselves. Plus, they are human too and make mistakes so I can't understand why we expect perfection from them. if you think you can do better, then give it a try and be the perfect role model. I also love my two kids and can't imagine the un-enviable pain the parents are going through. My heart goes out to them, but this is a risk we all live with. If there is a cover-up by the police, then they should be prosecuted.
    PS: what I find weird though is how the little girl passed away on Sunday and within 2 days there is a lawsuit!!!!

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

    It is extremely sad this little 7 year old was killed but....the incident happened on Sunday and the family has filed a lawsuit already. What is more important to them the fact they lost their child or seeing dollar signs?

    May 18, 2010 at 12:14 pm | Report abuse |
    • ArrowofThyme

      Some people find justice to be important, and when you can only get justice by filing a lawsuit..

      Give everyone who sues the state in situations like this the choice to either put the cop in jail for life or get money from the state. Would that make you feel better?

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

      I would have filed the suit on Monday. These people have a good sense of reality; they may not enjoy or accept their loss but at this point there's nothing they can do but move forward. And a swift deployment of legal action is all they have available to them. Their kid is not coming back. Ever.

      Are you implying that they are trying to profit from the incompetence of the police force? You must not be a parent, or you listen to too much right wing talk radio. Shame on you. Have your tubes tied. Don't reproduce. Ever.

      May 18, 2010 at 3:56 pm | Report abuse |
  12. Joe Nagel

    Everyone jump to conclusions, now. A 7-year old girl was killed by police gunfire, however it happened, and her death cannot be undone. Whom ever else was not, the girl was innocent. Fieger senses the huge settlement coming from this – not neccessarily the death of the girl and I feel very bad for her family.

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

    Mike, why are you on the forum? a%%hole! And if you knew any of your history...we all take care of more white people on welfare...OK

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

    Apparently, from what I understand and have read, most of the violence happened before the door to the house was even opened. If it is really shown in the tape that they shot into the house before anyone even came to the door, yet the police say the gun was discharged during a scuffle, then doesn't that nix everything? Translating: All bets are off. The cops blatantly lied to cover themselves. Regardless of who was where in the house, regardless of who they were chasing, if they killed someone because they were so 'gung ho' and lied about it, I say hang them out to dry.

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

    Geoffrey Fieger ..... Barf. Need I say more. Sadly an inocent little girl died – the facts are the facts but we'll never know them after Fieger has his way with them in the media.

    May 18, 2010 at 12:16 pm | Report abuse |
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