The family of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7-year old girl shot and killed by a Detroit police officer, has received an $8.25 million settlement almost 9 years after the tragic incident. The settlement was finalized just days prior to the scheduled civil trial.
On an early Sunday morning of May 2010, Aiyana was sleeping on a couch beside her grandmother, Mertilla Jones, when police officers suddenly entered the home in search for a murder suspect. The raid apparently went wrong as Aiyana got shot in the head after a short altercation between her grandmother and officer Joseph Weekley.
The officer claimed what happened was an accident and his gun discharged as he was struggling with Aiyana’s grandmother.
The incident was captured by a film crew for The First 48, a documentary series that shows real-life scenes in a homicide investigation. It was reportedly used as evidence in the lengthy investigation and two trials in connection to Aiyana’s death.
Weekley was subsequently charged with involuntary manslaughter, which was dismissed during the second trial in 2014. He was even allowed to return to the police force in 2015.
Geoffrey Fieger, the family’s lawyer, confirmed the settlement could help the family move on but it “won’t provide full justice. The only full justice would be to bring Aiyana back and I can’t do that.”
Meanwhile, Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said in a statement, “Aiyana’s death was a tragic loss for her family and has been a heavy burden on our community. We believe today’s settlement is fair because it balances the needs of Aiyana’s family and our responsibility for the city’s finances. We hope this resolution will provide everyone involved with a measure of closure.”