7-Year-Old’s Death-By-Cop Caught On Reality Show Cameras
May 22, 2010
Michigan (ChattahBox) – The tragic and shocking death of a seven-year-old girl when police stormed her apartment looking for a homicide suspect was caught on camera by a reality show filming A&E’s “The First 48″.
The footage of Aiyana Stanley-Jones being shot in the neck by a negligent police officer after a stun grenade was launched into the house will almost certainly be used in court. The family is suing the Detroit police in her death.
The case has raised many questions, one of the most prominent among them being whether or not the police officers on duty that night were ‘showboating’ for the cameras, leading to the shot that killed a child.
Neighbors had already told officers that children were sleep in the house, and many authorities have said that stun grenades are not usually used in search warrants of this type.
But you commonly see them being used on reality shows about police officers when executing searches related to heavy crimes, something that many lawyers and officers looking into this case have said would not usually occur.
“Just like anyone on ‘American Idol’ or ‘Survivor’ goes on and performs a role, we can imagine that police are performing a role based on what they’ve seen, on the endless televised representations of real police officers,” University of Minnesota professor of media Laurie Ouellette, told NYTimes.
“It would be unrealistic to think that they don’t think of themselves in terms of what the expectations are for these shows … There is evidence that they do tend to go into lower-income neighborhoods and are less likely to be shown policing affluent white suburban spaces. They want a particular kind of drama. They want the money shot.”
According to police, the grenade went off and the police stormed in. They claim that a stray bullet fired when they came across the child’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, struck Aiyana. They have not made it clear why shots were fired on innocent civilians in the first place.
But her family and their attorney’s dispute this, saying that shots were fired from outside, and one came through the window to strike Aiyana on the couch under the window where she was sleeping.
The homicide suspect they were searching for was found in another part of the complex where they lived.