Corey Williams of the Associated Press is reporting that a Detroit police officer was charged on Tuesday in the death of a 7-year-old girl who was shot during a midnight raid on her home by a special unit that was being shadowed by a reality-television crew.
Officer Joseph Weekley, a member of the Detroit Police Special Response Team, was indicted on an involuntary manslaughter charge after a nearly yearlong Michigan State Police investigation into the May 16, 2010, death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.
Aiyana was on a sofa on the first floor of a two-family home when Detroit police tossed a flash grenade through a window and burst through the front door. Detroit police have said Weekley's gun accidentally discharged after he was bumped or jostled by the girl's grandmother.
A film crew with the A&E Network's "The First 48" crime reality cable TV show was shadowing Detroit police on the raid. The TV show tracks murder investigations during the first two days after a slaying, and Aiyana's death put a spotlight on the growing number of reality shows focusing on law enforcement.
Weekley has pleaded not guilty to the charge. The involuntary manslaughter charge carries a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison. He also faces a charge of careless discharge of a firearm, causing death.
Detroit Mayor Dave Bing should be applauded for moving swiftly to ban reality-television crews from shadowing police. Reality television is getting out of hand. He should also be commended for his reprimand of former police Chief Warren Evans, who failed to inform him that he was allowing cameras on raids.
Read more at the Huffington Post.
In other news: Prisons Retaliate Against Inmates' Hunger Strike.