Trigger Warning for graphic descriptions of police violence and gun violence.
Aiyana Stanley Jones was 7-years-old. On Sunday morning, she was asleep on the couch in her family’s home.
Aiyana is now dead. She is dead after the home was raided by police. Police, searching for a murder suspect, threw a flash grenade through the window around midnight. According to Aiyana’s father, it landed on the couch, setting Aiyana on fire. A police officer’s gun then went off, and shot Aiyana in the head or neck.
Aiyana was asleep on the living room sofa in her family’s apartment when Detroit police, searching for a homicide suspect, burst in and an officer’s gun went off, fatally striking the girl in the neck, family members said.
Her father, 25-year-old Charles Jones, told The Detroit News he had just gone to bed early Sunday after covering his daughter with her favorite blanket when he heard a flash grenade followed by a gunshot. When he rushed into the living room, he said, police forced him to lie on the ground, with his face in his daughter’s blood.
“I’ll never be the same. That’s my only daughter,” Jones told WXYZ-TV.
I don’t have the words. What words are there, for a little girl being killed in her own home, by the same people our society claims are supposed to protect her? What words are there, when a home that reportedly had toys outside and contained multiple children is violently raided in the middle of the night, without concern for their safety? What words are there, when this little girl was killed in front of her family, when her father was left unable to even try to help her, and forced to lay in her blood? What words are there, when a police officer’s lack of control over his own drawn weapon in a house full of children is referred to as an “accident” with a straight face? What words, when black citizens have to constantly fear systematic police brutality and violence, not only against themselves but also against their small children?
There are not words for that. Not sufficient words. Not words filled enough with rage and sorrow. Not words that can adequately honor her family’s pain. Not words that can bring Aiyana back or undo this horrific crime.
there is no justice. not for aiyana stanley jones.
there is punishment, and perhaps accountability. someone to point towards, many people, a trail of blame, stories, mistakes and tears.
but there is no justice.
She goes on to write:
every thread i pick up in the story leads to more impossible questions.
why are police officers legally able to use military tactics on a house with children in it on a sunday morning…or any morning, on any house, with anyone in it?
why do the grieving faces of people on this street look so unsurprised?
and when 17-year-old Jerean Blake was killed Friday, wasn’t that equally devastating? did we do enough as a community at that moment?
do we know how to keep our children safe?
can we admit that we don’t know anything about how to be the kind of society where this could never happen?
to step back from the immediate events is to see what happens in communities who internalize the corporate military worldview that some people are expendable. the way we function as an economy that places profit first is that it’s normal for people in uniform to throw bombs into the home of civilians and shoot children.
an economy that valued people first could never justify those tactics.
I suggest you read her whole post. I certainly can’t say it better, nor can I say it from a position of such close proximity.
A vigil for Aiyana has already been held. Protests against the Detroit Police Department are currently in the works as I write this, and more memorials may also be in the process of being planned. If you have concrete information on any of these events, please leave it in the comments.
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- Stop and Frisk. by Shani O Hilton August 3, 2010
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