I’ve been predicting that George Zimmerman will walk in the killing of Trayvon Martin and that riots will ensue. It’s all about optics. In the Zimmerman case, you have an almost white man shooting a definitely black man portrayed as an angelic innocent. Meanwhile, in Detroit you have a caucasian cop shooting a seven-year-old black girl during a SWAT raid. And here’s the kicker: Officer Joseph Weekley’s trying to pin the blame on her grandmother . . .
He was the first officer in as police stormed a house to capture a man suspecting of killing a teenager outside a corner store less than 48 hours earlier. A stun grenade was thrown through a window, emitting smoke, bright light and vibrations to confuse people inside.
Weekley said he heard a noise, “like somebody’s out of breath,” from under a pile of laundry and blankets on a couch near the doorway. He said a woman later identified as Aiyana’s grandmother, Mertilla Jones, emerged.
“She hit it in a downward motion,” Weekley said of his submachine gun. “As she hits it down, I start to pull it back. I hear the shot.”
Nonetheless, he said he didn’t even feel a recoil in the weapon and first believed the shot came from elsewhere in the house.
Even if we believe that Mertilla Jones hit Officer Weekley’s machine gun, SWAT teams are supposed to train for close-in weapons retention (a J move with the barrel). You know; without shooting the wrong person. A key part of that training: keep your booger finger off the bang switch.
Whether or not Aiyana’s grandmother recovered from the flash bang quickly enough to launch a counter-attack against armed invaders, clearly Weekley created a negligent discharge. Ipso facto.
It’s not Weekley’s first rodeo. Wikipedia reports that “Officer Joseph Weekley, a 14-year veteran of the DPD, 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.”
But there’s more. The trial revealed that the SWAT team ignored children’s toys in the yard when deciding to go all-in with flash-bangs and full-auto ARs to capture murder Chauncey Owens (who was hiding upstairs). Something to do with the A&E TV crew following them perhaps?
The jury can find Weekley guilty of involuntary manslaughter, a felony; a misdemeanor weapons charge; or not guilty of any crime. No matter what happens it’s bound to be business as usual in Detroit, only without the cameras watching.