Sunday, May 23, 2010

Tragedy for One of Us Constitutes Tragedy for All of Us

A beautiful 7-year old girl, Aiyana Jones was recently killed when police in Detroit invaded her home under the guise of executing a police raid. Aiyana Jones was peacefully sleeping on a couch in her home when she was fatally shot in the neck by a police officer during a raid on the house allegedly targetting a homicide suspect. It appears the police instead targeted the home of an innocent family.

CBS reported that neighbors told [the] police [that] there were children in the house, and showed them toys in the front yard. However, the police allegedly proceeded to throw a flash grenade through the window of the home despite the warnings.

The tragic incident was reportedly caught on tape by a television crew that was following the police while filming the raid for a crime show.

Aiyana had been sleeping on a living room sofa about 12:40 a.m. Sunday when she was struck by a bullet from a gun carried by a member of the Detroit Police Special Response Team. Officers entered the downstairs flat of the two-story duplex in the 4000 block of Lillibridge on the city's east side after throwing a stun grenade through the glass of a front window.

A video crew with "The First 48" cable TV show was recording the scene as the cops executed a warrant for Chauncey Louis Owens, 34, wanted for the May 14 slaying of a Southeastern High School senior. Owens was captured as officers simultaneously raided the duplex's upstairs unit -- without exploding a stun bomb.

Owens has since been charged with murder in the shooting death of 17-year-old Jerean Blake.

Officer Joseph Weekley, a member of the Detroit Police Special Response Team, has been identified as the person who shot Aiyana. The 14-year veteran of the force has been placed on a desk job while the incident is investigated.

Police said there was some level of contact between Aiyana's grandmother and Weekley after he entered the home and that led to the shooting.

A lawsuit has been claiming negligence, civil rights violations and a police cover-up of the true facts.

(source: From The Detroit News:


What a painful loss and tragedy for the parents. My heart goes out to them. But we must share in the parents grief and outrage if these facts are correct as reported. How can life be rendered so cheaply by those designated to protect us? How can they profess to uphold the law and be so inconsiderate of the humanity and rights of citizens? The recklessness out of which the police appeared to act reflects a historic alienation rooted in racism that I had thought had begun to dissipate in most instances. Whether this reflects an aberration remains to be seen. I pray the day will come soon when we are healed of the disease of racism and all the other isms that corrupt human relations

Q. When are we compelled to step forward and speak out less we compromise our humanity and become less than human?

Pray like hell for justice and then get up and fight like hell to claim it!
Rev. Qiyamah