Anyone who has talked to me knows that I have a deep passion for people. Especially for those being oppressed or hurt. Today I want to talk about some of the most untalked about the group of people that most need our help: the children being murdered in the fight for racial equality. For the next seven weeks, I will be discussing some children whose names have been forgotten or swept under the rug. I am calling this the "Peace For" series. I will discuss the life and death and why this is a continuously growing problem in our world.
For this first session, I want to talk about Aiyana Stanley-Jones.
This was a name I had never heard before and so I began doing some research. Aiyana was born in 2002 to Charles Jones (father) Dominika Stanley (mother.) Living in Detroit, MI, she was a happy little girl who lived with her parents and her grandmother, Mertilla Jones. But sadly, this wasn't a fairytale time for her. Aiyana's father, Charles, wasn't involved with the best people.
Then came that night.
May 16, 2010.
This evening, Detroit's special response team entered the home looking for a young man. The team was at the wrong address from the begining. Joseph Weekley was the point man of the team. He entered the house first as a smoke grenade was thrown through the window. Weekley went into the home and shot into the smoke and in cold blood, shot seven-year-old Aiyana. Lying next to her on this couch was her grandmother who repeatedly asked for someone to do something. No one responded.
This is where the story gets insufferable.
The grandmother was arrested and held in jail for eight hours. She was never told the charges, she was being questioned. Weekley was then charged with manslaughter and put on trial. During the trial, the defense tried to say that the grandmother lunged at Weekley, causing him to shoot. This was a quickly rejected theory after another officer took the stand and contradicted this tale. Mertilla also took the stand and had, what the press called an "emotional outburst." She asked Weekley why he had done this, sobbed on the stand, and explained how she "saw the light and life leave her granddaughter's eyes."
After five years and three mistrials, on January 30th, 2015, Weekley was let go. Free to roam the streets again. Having to leave through a private door for "fear of a riot," the world was not pleased with the verdict. Neither am I.
It is stories like this that make my blood boil and my heart audibly break. Seven years old....how could you ever live knowing you killed a child? This article isn't bashing police or basing the justice system, but I do have a few questions:
1. How was the contradiction of the "grandmother attack" theory not a bigger factor?
2. The team was at the WRONG ADDRESS, TO BEGIN WITH! How is that not a huge problem for the department in general?
3. How long must this go on before someone steps up and realizes that justice isn't going to come from the barrel of the gun?
One day, this world will be able to stand together. But today, our world has a black and broken heart. I haven't written this article to slam anyone, I wrote it for Aiyana. I wrote for the justice. I will continue to write to bring attention to the stories we forgot.