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Demand a Civil Rights Investigation Into the Police Murder of Aiyana Jones

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*Update* 2010-08-17

The FBI has opened an investigation into the police murder of Aiyana Jones. The Civil Rights Division will be conducting the investigation and reporting their findings to prosecutors in the U.S. Justice Department. While this investigation can never undo the tragedy that occurred in Detroit on May16, it is a crucial step in the right direction. An innocent child died at the hand of police and accountability must be demanded. 

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Killed while she slept, Aiyana Jones may have been dreaming of a birthday party, of school, a day at the park. She might have opened her eyes towards her grandmother during those last breaths, hopefully feeling no pain. One wonders what a 7 year old thinks of in her final moments, "What's happening?" "Why did they shoot me?" Thoughts that have no place in the mind of an innocent child. 

In a city that has seen more than its share of violent murders, the recent police killing of Aiyana Jones, an innocent 7 year old girl, has Detroit and activists across the nation on edge. An explosive device thrown through the window, a little girl shot and killed as she slept--people are asking how and more importantly why this had to happen. For the people of Detroit, this incident serves as only one more reason to distrust police. With talk of a cover-up and potential video evidence proving it, the community and the country have every right to be angry and every reason to demand answers.  

The attorney for Aiyana's family claims he saw the video showing the raid. He states, without a doubt, the Detroit police acted to cover up the true facts of the case immediately after the shooting happened. At this time it isn't clear where the video is, but one thing is for certain--it shouldn't be lost. It's apparent the local police can't be trusted to handle the investigation and although the Michigan State Police are investigating, this is a civil rights matter, only properly handled at the federal level.

With so many questions swirling about this case and the loss of an innocent life, swift and immediate action is needed. An agency that would cover up their own role in the death of a child has no place protecting anyone's children. Had this incident occurred in white suburbia it may have already been under investigation. Had the address been different, we probably would have seen more media coverage and elected officials wouldn't have avoided the topic as they have. But, just because officials have ignored this tragedy doesn't mean we have to let them.

Demand the federal government open a civil rights investigation into the raid and subsequent shooting death of Aiyana Jones. Also, let the Governor of Michigan and Mayor of Detroit know that the country is watching and will not allow this murder to be forgotten.  

Photo: Aiyana Jones family



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