DETROIT (AP) The family of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was killed in a Detroit police raid to find a murder suspect, has sued A&E Television Networks for encouraging police aggression by videotaping the raid.
The lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in Detroit Tuesday claims the network and production crew filming for the cable television reality series “The First 48” were responsible for the May 16 death of the young girl, according to the Detroit Free Press.
The girl was shot in the head during the raid.
According to Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee, police barged into the Jones family’s home with their guns drawn searching for a homicide suspect. Police said the girl was shot in the neck when an officer struggled with, or was jostled by, her grandmother inside the home, but Geoffrey Fieger, a lawyer for Jones’ family, has claimed police fired into the home from outside after tossing a flash-bang grenade.
“The entire incident has been a cover up,” Fieger told reporters in June at his Southfield offices north of Detroit. “The rest of the truth will come out.”
The lawsuit, which seeks in excess of $75,000, claims that A&E and the production company encouraged Detroit police “to conduct an illegal, overly aggressive, and unnecessary raid” on the home, reports the Free Press.
“The defendants knew or should have known that by acting in concert with the Detroit Police and filming live…it would lead to tragedies such as the one in this case,” the suit states, according to the Free Press.
The Associated Press left an e-mail message for A&E seeking comment Tuesday.
One week after Aiyana was fatally shot Detroit Mayor Dave Bing banned reality TV crews from tagging along with police.