Detroit Cop Who Killed 7-Year-Old Will Face Only Misdemeanor Charge


The most serious charge against Joseph Weekley, the elite Detroit police officer who says he accidentally shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones while conducting a raid for a murder suspect, has been dropped, the Associated Press reports.


On Monday, Michigan’s appeals court upheld the dismissal of the manslaughter charge.

Wayne County Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway originally dismissed the involuntary manslaughter charge against Weekley, saying that there was not enough evidence to indicate that the cop had acted willfully.

Prosecutors had been hoping to have that ruling overturned on appeal, but to no avail, AP reports.

Appeals Judge Michael Talbot agreed with prosecutors that Hathaway had made a mistake, but said the ruling had to stand because once a defendant is acquitted, it cannot be challenged. The appeals court doubled down on that decision Monday, refusing a request for review.

The only charge Weekley currently faces is reckless discharge of a firearm, a misdemeanor.

“Aiyana’s family remains devastated, and this ruling … does not help to ease their pain,” Roland Lawrence, the spokesman for the group that pressed for charges against Weekley, said.


The little girl was killed when officers burst through the door of the home in 2010. Weekley said he pulled the trigger by accident when Aiyana’s grandmother grabbed for his gun. The grandmother, Mertilla Jones, denied any scuffle.

The raid was being recorded for The First 48, a police reality-TV show.

Read more at the Associated Press.