Mertilla Jones, Aiyana’s Grandmother, Speaks About Shooting: MyFoxDETROIT.com
Hearing on “protective order” set for Thurs. Sept. 1 @ 2 p.m. in front of Judge Daphne Means Curtis
By Diane Bukowski
August 18, 2011
VOD: Hearing on “protective order” likely rescheduled to await results of Chauncey Owens sentencing Aug. 30
DETROIT – The City of Detroit, its Police Department and Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy’s office are apparently conspiring to stonewall a civil lawsuit against Detroit police officer Joseph Weekley. The officer shot seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones to death in her home May 16, 2010, as other members of a “Special Response Team” in an armored vehicle threw an incendiary grenade inside. The home, on Lillibridge, is in a desperately poor area on Detroit’s far east side.
Meanwhile, Weekley’s attorneys have filed documents blaming the child’s family and even her neighbors for her death, and maintaining their client’s innocence.
“The First 48” TV series and its producer Kirkstall Rd. Enterprises of New York additionally have refused to provide their videotapes of the assault on the Jones home, which they were filming as it occurred.
“Plaintiff has been attempting to take Officer Weekley’s deposition since last year,” attorney Geoffrey Fieger, representing Aiyana’s parents, wrote Weekley’s attorney Kenneth Lewis on July 22.
“Defense counsel has stonewalled the discovery process at every turn, forcing the Plaintiff to file several motions with this court in an attempt to obtain the most basic information pertinent to Aiyana’s death. This Court has instructed the Defendant and the City to cooperate with the Plaintiff in the discovery process, yet there has been no substantive discovery to date.”
Fieger also said, “The prosecutor has not released investigative materials.”
In response, Lewis filed a motion for a “protective order,” which will be heard by Third Circuit Court Judge Daphne Means Curtis on Thurs. Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. .in Room 1007 at the Coleman A. Young Municipal Center, 2 Woodward Avenue.
The motion asks that depositions of Weekley and other police, as well as documentation from the prosecutor’s office, be kept secret, or “sealed.” It claims that Weekley faces possible criminal charges and sets strict limits on the contents of the deposition, which is to take only one hour. “No protective order, no deposition,” Lewis wrote.
“The Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee (JAJC) vehemently objects to this request on the grounds that the Detroit Police Department needs to provide transparency into what actually happened when Aiyana was killed by its officers,” said JAJC Chief, Roland Lawrence.
“The family of Aiyana Jones and the citizens of Detroit have been tortured enough, and need some answers. Any reasonable person will conclude that the Detroit Police, and Mayor Dave Bing and others are hiding something; and that ‘something’ does not smell good. Both the criminal and civil cases must move quickly to the center stage without further delay.”
Weekley’s attorneys, from the wealthy law firm of Plunkett and Cooney, are being paid unknown sums by city taxpayers. According to court documents, they have refused to present their client for depositions five times in the last year.
On March 1, Judge Curtis ordered that “depositions take place as soon as possible after completion of the Michigan State Police (MSP) investigation, or as soon as reasonably practical after May 6 regardless of whether the Michigan State Police investigation is concluded.”
In 2006, Judge Curtis ruled in support of the Detroit Police Commission when it blocked the promotion of three-time killer cop Eugene Brown to sergeant, but her ruling was overturned on appeal and Brown was promoted.
On March 5,, the MSP announced that it had completed its investigation and turned over the results, along with a request for a warrant for an unidentified “male suspect,” to Worthy. Worthy has since said that she is conducting her own investigation, and given no indication as to when it will conclude. In the past, her office has declared it is still investigating police killings cases long after they had closed the files.
Weekley’s attorneys claim a federal investigation is also open, based on media reports published in August, 2010. But U.S. Attorney Barbara McQuade said in May of this year, “We are currently awaiting the conclusion of the state process before we consider federal action.”
After their motion for a protective order, Plunkett & Cooney scheduled depositions for Aiyana’s family members, a move which Fieger’s firm blocked by requesting that they not be deposed until after Weekley’s deposition takes place.
Plunkett & Cooney previously filed a “Notice of Non-Party Fault,” according to documents in the court files.
“This was an attempt to spread the blame for his [Weekley’s] reckless shooting to eight individuals he claims are partially or entirely responsible for Aiyana’s death, including anyone present in the home and even any next door neighbors,” says a filing from Fieger’s firm.
On Dec. 10, 2010, Plunkett & Cooney alleged without proof that members of Aiyana’s family were engaged in “drug dealing, vehicle theft and illegal utility hook-ups.” They also accused Aiyana’s father Charles Jones of participating in the previous shooting death of 17-year-old Je’Rean Blake, and said it is likely that he is the “male suspect” named by State Police in their investigative report.
They cited media reports that Chauncey Owens, who lived upstairs from Aiyana’s family and who was the individual police were seeking when they killed Aiyana, was to testify that her father gave him the gun used to kill Blake in exchange for a lighter sentence. In fact, Owens’ court files show he named another individual. His sentencing, originally set for this past May, has been postponed until Tues. Aug. 30 at 9 a.m. in Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Richard Skutt’s courtroom at the Frank Murphy Hall.
(Click on VOD article at http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/05/23/owens-never-said-aiyana-jones%e2%80%99-dad-gave-him-gun-used-in-teen%e2%80%99s-killing/ to read full story.)
Plunkett & Cooney additionally claimed Aiyana’s grandmother Mertilla Jones “interfered in the execution of the search by unlawfully touching the defendant and causing his weapon to accidentally discharge.”
Jones was arrested and held for several days after she watched her beloved granddaughter die in front of her eyes. Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee, at the time an Assistant Chief, publicly withdrew the contention that she interfered with Weekley and released her without charges at the time.
The family’s actions “created unsafe living conditions for Aiyana Stanley-Jones and placed her in extreme danger,” Plunkett & Cooney wrote. “If Plaintiff Aiyana Stanley-Jones sustained any injuries or damages as alleged in the amended complaint, same were caused in whole or in part by the aforementioned Non-Parties.”
Various elements in the city, including talk show hosts Mildred Gaddis and Angelo Henderson, have encouraged such speculation. As a result, there has been no mass outpouring of rage in Detroit against the child’s killing by police, although there is outrage around the world.
In a letter to Fieger’s firm, Davis, Wright & Tremaine, LLP, on behalf of Kirkstall Rd. Enterprises, the producer of “The First 48,” refused to comply with a court-ordered subpoena for the film of the incident from Fieger’s office.
They claimed that the subpoena could only be issued through New York courts, and even then, they would not produce it because they claim to be covered by “New York Civil Rights Law 79-h(c),” known as the “Shield Law,” which allegedly protects a reporter’s privilege.
The Justice for Aiyana Jones Committee is asking that individuals phone Judge Daphne Means Curtis at 313-224-2240 to express their opposition to the protective order. The hearing, to be held Thurs. Sept. 1 at 2 p.m. in Rm. 1007 of the CAYMC, is also open to the public.
I feel that it’s everyone fought that was in that house cause they was holding a fugative in there home, knowing they’re putting the child n danger anyways. They make the livung hard to what the police went to raid the house for drugs or anything they still putting the girl life in danger. I feel as if they all should b arrested for everything they did, even about 17yr old jerean case they was holding a fugative in there home, and Charles Jone knew he killed 17yr old Jerean Blake cause he gave the man the gun. It was four guys in that trunk and I feel like they could have stoped it then Charles Jones didn’t have to give the man the gun to 17yr old.. They put there on child in danger so they should be in prison.. Thats all I have to say
It is thinking like yours that allows the Detroit police to do whatever they want, kill whoever they want, frame up whoever they want, without any checks and balances from the Wayne Co. Prosecutor Kym Worthy. There are numerous murderers like Eugene Brown and Joseph Weekley still on the force. It could be YOUR family next. Poor people in Detroit must STOP FIGHTING EACH OTHER and wake up to who the real enemy is–the rich folks, the politicians, the banks and corporations that are robbing us all.
As far as your statements re: this case, click on http://voiceofdetroit.net/2011/05/23/owens-never-said-aiyana-jones%e2%80%99-dad-gave-him-gun-used-in-teen%e2%80%99s-killing/ or put Chauncey Owens’ name in VOD search engine to read story done after extensive review of his court file. Also note comment on story as follows:
Well. What I want people to know that I know Blake it was wrong how he die but he was and a gang I know his mother. Too Blake was beefing with Chauncey owens brother chainman Blake and chinaman was beefing over a girl its a lot of people that know. The truth and not saying nothing my hold thing is why chinaman not and jail with his I was there its was a lot of people. Up there I don’t know who shot everybody just start running and that when I seen his mama coolamam saying where chinaman bitch ass at cause I will die for minds so where Is chinaman why is he not and jail with Chauncey owens its a lot not being
said and ms.cargill need to tell truth what I really that she trying to get
money. Out that family my hold thing
is wheres chinaman ass at all im saying action. Speak louder then words and ms cargill blowing out hot air so I say to ms cargill tell the truth about what really happen o see you on the news and just smdh
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The good citizens of this country need to demand an end to the use of paramilitary police tactics in our communities across the nation. This is nothing more than pure fascism and it should never be tolerated in this great nation of ours. Bring back our police force to protect and serve. Bring back respect for law and order. The answer is to rebuild our communities with jobs, resources, and mutual respect, not to use SRTs and SWATs to terrorize and intimidate the people into submission. Let’s rebuild America before it’s too late. Pray for justice in this case and others.
There seems to be an absence everywhere about this story. Try and search news for Aiyana Jones on Google news, you might find 1 0r 2 articles including this one, then Google Natalee Holloway, and you will find literally thousands of news articles.
This is about Constitutional Rights.
It’s not about Black vs White.
Aiyana Jones is not the only person in this country murdered during a no-knock search of an American home. Detroit isn’t the only place it happens. Look up the name Jose Guerena, and you’ll see remarkable similarities in the way the officials involved covered for their murderous officers and smeared the victims’ families. This is standard operating procedure every time a citizen is murdered during a no-knock raid. You’d be surprised how often the police perform these raids on the wrong household.
If we want our U.S. Constitution back, we’re going to have to come together on this issue and several others. The courts are erroding the Law of the Land by making tainted judgements that feel good for the moment but undermine all our Constitutional protections.
Aiyana was a beautiful little girl. The picture of her with her birthday cake is particularly poignant.
We should place her picture with those of other victims. People need to see the breadth and depth of this problem. Americans need to understand that no-knock warrants kill innocent citizens.
Elizabeth Conley -> middle class, middle aged & white
Your comments as a whole are appropriate, but it IS about Black vs. white. Even though people of all races are targeted by the police, Black people are disproportionately victimized, killed, brutalized, framed-up and imprisoned. Read the next story on the hate crime killing of James Craig Anderson, a Black autoworker, this month in Jackson, MS. Where is the national coverage and outrage about this crime, instead of endless footage of Kim Kardashian’s wedding?
I will never agree with or in any way support racially divisive remarks that prevent like-minded citizens from working together to protect ourselves from the systematic erosion of our Constitutional rights. We squander what rights remain when we fail to exercise our right to freely associate.
Here’s another improper police assault on a household. Notice that no matter how obviously wrong the police actions are, they never, never admit that they were wrong, nor do they pledge to change their unconstitutional, dangerous practices.
NOBODY CARES ABOUT AIYANA JONES
Where is the media coverage for black 7 year old Aiyana Jones? Would there be more coverage if Aiyana was a 7 year old white American citizen? Where is Nancy Grace coverage? What about the America media….why aren’t they updating the Aiyana murder? Did the police officer that murdered Aiyana receive any discipline. Or was he fire or imprison. According to press reports, police were on the scene by 12:40 a.m. on Sunday, May 16, 2010. In an attempt to distract the occupants, police fired a flash grenade through the front window of the bottom floor, where Aiyana and Mertilla slept. The flash grenade lid little Aiyana on fire! As police entered the front door, Officer Joseph Weekley’s gun went off and struck Aiyana in the head or neck area. Police escorted Aiyana to St. John Hospital, where she was pronounced dead.
The police officer responsible for the shooting, Joe “Brain” Weekley, is a member of Detroit’s SWAT team, and was a frequent subject on A&E, whose film crews were filming the investigation. To say Officer Weekley was cocky and had no respect for human being. Would be an understatement. Because prior to entering the home prior to throwing the grenade. Citizen in the neighborhood shouted out there were children in the home! He could careless the neighborhood was black. He saw those children as less then.
Officer Joseph Weekley, a 14-year veteran of the Detroit Police Department, is one of several officers targeted in a federal lawsuit alleging that they shot two dogs and pointed a gun at children during a 2007 raid of a Detroit house. A hearing in U.S. District Court, scheduled for June 9, will decide whether the case goes to trial. The lawsuit, which was moved from the Wayne Circuit Court to the U.S. District Court in April 2009, accuses Weekley and other members of the Special Response Team of entering a Detroit house on Feb. 8, 2007, shooting two dogs, and then pointing a gun at an unspecified number of children, including an infant. The officers were looking for Marlon Westbrook, who later was convicted of armed robbery and sentenced to seven to 15 years in prison.
After the shooting of Aiyana Jones, Weekley reported to his sergeant that a woman inside had grabbed for his gun. Total LIE!!! He stated that to cover up the fact of murdering a innocent unarmed sleeping child! Police arrested Mertilla Jones, administered tests for drugs and gunpowder, and released her Sunday morning. The woman had just witness the burning and murder of her granddaughter! TOO-BAD-SO-SAD no one gives a damn!!! Mertilla said that she reached for Aiyana but had no contact with officers. The Officer was telling a total LIE!!!
The coverage of the murder of 7 year old Aiyana Jones has been slim to none! There is no Nancy Grave or Jane Velez Mitchell 7 days a week coverage. There is no follow up no media interest! Not like the murder case of Casey Anthony. The different is Aiyana Jones is a seven year old black girl and the Casey Anthony case involve white America. Caylee Marie Anthony was found dead three years ago. He mother Casey Anthony is charge with her child’s murder! This case has been in the new just about everyday. Starting with the child being reported missing! Aiyana Jones is just dead!
WHAT A DIFFERENTS A RACE MAKES WHEN THE FLASH MOB IS WHITE TEENS
Jackson, Mississippi (CNN) — On a recent Sunday morning just before dawn, two carloads of white teenagers ” Flash Mob” drove to Jackson, Mississippi, on what the county district attorney says was a mission of hate and pure evil: to find and or hurt or kill a black person.
In a parking lot on the western side of town they found their black victim. A hard working American citizen that loved his country and his family!
James Craig Anderson, a 49-year-old auto plant worker, was standing in a parking lot, near his car. The teens allegedly beat Anderson repeatedly, kicking him in his head and chest yelling racial epithets, including “White Power!” according to witnesses.
Hinds County District Attorney Robert Shuler Smith says a group of 12 white teens then climbed into their large Ford F250 green pickup truck, floored the gas, and drove the truck right over Anderson, killing him instantly.
Killing the black man! Not just beating a black man killing him! To date the Mayor of Jackson has not attacked the parent or blame them for not watching their children better! There was no going to church and critcizing all white teens! You didn’t here the Mayor criticizing the dress or all white teens hateful tatoos! There was no telling them they where a disgrace to their race! No teen was told to pull up your pants!
No only innocent black people are critcize for things they never participated in! I wonder will the Mayor of Jackson have a curfew that punish all white teens? Will he start a Stop & Frisk program that will really just target white teens?
Mississippi officials say it was a racially motivated murder. What the gang of teens did not know was that a surveillance camera was focused on the parking lot that night, and many of the events, including the actual murder of Anderson, were captured live on videotape. There is good reason that the DA sees this as a hate crime:
Shortly after he allegedly drove the truck over Anderson, Dedmon allegedly boasted and laughed about the killing, according to testimony given by some of the teens to detectives.”I ran that nigger over,” Dedmon said in a phone conversation to the teens in the other car.
He repeated the racial language in subsequent conversations, according to the law enforcement officials.”He was not remorseful he was laughing, laughing about the killing,” said district attorney Smith.
The white control national media said nothing about the crime. Now the Philly Flash Mob has been in the news for months! Fox News especially is running Mayor Nutter attack on black parents and all black teens!
“I agree with Dante, that the hottest places in hell are reserved for those who, in a period of moral crisis, maintain their neutrality.”
— Martin Luther King Jr.
Great and informative article Diane. Aiyana’s justice seems to be slowly picking up speed.