DETROIT (AP) — Jurors in the trial of a Detroit police officer charged with involuntary manslaughter in the death of a 7-year-old girl watched a video Tuesday of the police raid that led to the fatal shooting.
The shot that killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones in 2010 could be heard on the video, which was recorded by a crew from “The First 48,” a reality TV show on A&E Networks. Officer Joseph Weekley’s gun fired and struck the girl in the head while she slept on a couch.
Someone shouts “police!” on the video. A stun grenade used to confuse people inside the house briefly lights up the scene.
Weekley was the first officer through the door. His attorney said the officer accidentally fired a submachine gun when Aiyana’s grandmother reached for the weapon. Prosecutors, however, said there was no struggle and that Weekley simply was negligent in how he handled the gun.
Homicide investigator LaTonya Brooks testified that detectives didn’t want the TV crew at the scene. Defense attorney Steve Fishman said police department officials never asked officers if they wanted cameras following them with people asking “dumb questions.”
“That’s additional pressure to doing a pressure-filled, difficult job, wouldn’t you agree?” Fishman said.
“I agree,” Brooks said.
After Aiyana’s death, Detroit Mayor Dave Bing barred reality TV shows from shadowing police. “The First 48″ focuses on critical early stages of homicide investigations.