The civil rights lawsuit, which alleges officers attempted to cover-up how Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed, names Officer Joseph Weekley, Robert Rowe, the Detroit Police Department, and the city as defendants. Members of the department’s Special Response Team are also named, the News writes.
The family is requesting a jury trial and damages of at least $7.5 million for the violation of Aiyana’s civil rights.
“Defendants Joseph Weekly and Robert Rowe unlawfully seized Aiyana Stanley-Jones, used excessive force against her and unlawfully used deadly force thereby inflicting horrendous personal injuries and ultimately death from which certain damages naturally followed to the members of Aiyana Stanley-Jones family and/or estate,” the lawsuit said.
The family’s lawsuit comes nearly three months after the last charge against Weekley was dismissed in late January. Family attorney Geoffrey Fieger promised to proceed with the civil lawsuit shortly after the decision. If you recall, Weekley’s first trial for involuntary manslaughter and the misdemeanor count ended in a hung jury, according to the News.
“We were on stay pending the outcome of the criminal trial,” Fieger said in January. “The stay will now be lifted and we will now proceed with the civil case.”
Aiyana was fatally shot when a SWAT-like team raided her home while looking for a murder suspect in 2010. The raid was being taped for the cable TV show The First 48. Weekley, who led the team, maintains Aiyana’s grandmother Mertilla Jones slapped his gun, causing it to misfire and hit the child as she slept on the couch.
Jones denies touching Weekley’s gun. In fact, the lawsuit alleges that a flash-bang grenade went through the window and struck the child. According to the suit, police fired random shots inside the home, striking Aiyana again, this time in the neck. Weekley, the suit says, said he came in contact with Aiyana’s grandmother as part of the cover-up.
“In an intentional cover-up conspiracy to hide what had happened, Detroit Special Response Team Officer Joseph Weekly rushed into the house and made physical contact in the front room with Mertilla Jones, Aiyana Stanley-Jones’ grandmother,” the lawsuit stated.
The Detroit police department has yet to respond to the suit.