05/18/2010 // West Palm Beach, FL, USA // Tara Monks // Tara Monks
Detroit, MI – The police raid on a family home on Sunday, May 16, 2010 that left a 7-year-old girl dead has lead to two lawsuits, according to CNN. It has also been reported by MSNBC that the Special Response Team that conducted the raid was being followed by A&E videographers who caught the entire incident on tape. The A&E team was filming for its series “The First 48,” a show chronicling the works of Detroit homicide detectives.
While police claim officers threw a flash grenade through the first-floor window of the two-family home and the officer’s gun discharged during a scuffle with the girl’s grandmother, the family’s attorney claims otherwise.
According to reports from MSNBC, the family’s attorney claims to have seen three to four minutes of a video of the raid. The lawyer claims the video shows an officer throwing the flash grenade into the home and then shooting into the home from the outside.
The little girl, Aiyana Jones, was severely burned by the grenade before she was shot. She was reportedly sleeping on the couch at the time of the raid.
A&E denied a request from the Associated Press for the footage and a spokesman for the company said no one was going to comment on the case.
The state and federal lawsuits allege gross negligence, violation of civil rights and conspiracy to cover up the violation of civil rights.
The raid resulted in the arrest of the a 34-year-old man suspected of brutally killing a 17-year-old male. He was found in the upstairs unit of the family home. Police had warrants to search both properties of the home, and members of the girl’s family were seen entering both units Monday, May 17.
As of Monday, the suspect had not been charged.
The case was handed over to the Michigan State Police to avoid any conflicts of interest.
There is also interest in whether the accompanying video cameras had anything to do with the severity of the raid. Some attorneys told reporters they were unaware of instances where police used flash grenades when children were possibly present.
Detroit police have not identified the officer whose gun fired the shot that killed the girl. Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee told reporters the officer is a 14-year veteran who has served six to seven years on the Special Response Team.