Mourners Say Goodbye To Aiyana Jones

7-Year-Old Killed In Police Raid Laid To Rest

DETROIT - Hundreds of people showed up Saturday for the funeral of Aiyana Stanley-Jones, the 7-year-old killed in a police raid on Detroit?s East side.

Those in attendance were told they must help stop the violence that has recently plagued the city of Detroit.

During the eulogy, Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton, questioned if officers in the suburban cities would throw a stun grenade into a house as did the Detroit Police Department.

Rev Sharpton said he?d much rather give a broader message to the community than criticize police officers and political leaders.

?I?d rather tell you to start looking at the man in the mirror. We?ve all done something that contributed to this,? Sharpton said of Aiyanna?s death.

Sharpton then made a serious call to the crowd at Second Ebenezer Church to stop the violence in Detroit.

?This is it. This child is the breaking point.?


On Friday there was a public viewing for a Aiyanna.

Hundreds of mourners, from her classmates, city leaders and parents who never met her attended the public viewing on Friday to pay their respects.

Aiyana's best friend Diamon Thomas read parts of a poem she wrote in crayon for her friend.

"I love Aiyana. BFF," said Thomas.

The second-grader said she has not been to school since her friend's death because she has been mourning .

"I told her that she is not coming back on this earth, and if she is good, they will be together again," said Thomas' grandmother Ollie Evans.


"It's important to be here and pay respects to Aiyana. I've tried to make sure that I didn't make this a public spectacle from my vantage point and the city's vantage point," said Detroit Mayor Dave Bing.

Tonya Theus said she never met the girl, but as a mother, she felt compelled to be there.

"She was a baby. She was so innocent. She doesn't know what happened. She was caught in the crossfire," said Theus.

Aiyana was killed early Sunday. Police have said an officer's gun discharged inside the house after he was jostled by, or collided with, the girl's grandmother.

Attorney Geoffrey Fieger has filed a wrongful death lawsuit and a separate suit on behalf of the girl's grandmother.

On Friday, Fieger withdrew the federal lawsuit filed on behalf of Aiyana's family.

Federal documents show that a "notice of voluntary dismissal" was entered Tuesday in U.S. District Court in Detroit -- the same day the suit was filed.

The suit claimed Aiyana Stanley-Jones' constitutional rights were violated and sought a cash award of more than $75,000. Fieger also filed a lawsuit in state court.

The federal suit named Aiyana's father as the representative of her estate.

Download: Fieger Files Lawsuit Against DPD

Fieger's account of the shooting contradicts the police department's account of what happened during the execution of a murder warrant at a home on Lillibridge Street at 12:50 a.m.


Fieger said the shot that pierced the girl's neck was actually fired from outside on the porch.

Assistant Detroit Police Chief Ralph Godbee said investigators had a search warrant for a man engaged to the victim's aunt, in connection with the slaying of a 17-year-old outside a liquor store on Mack Avenue last Friday.

Godbee said nearly 20 officers arrived at the home and a smoke bomb was thrown in to distract the occupants, and then the first officer entered the home.

Once inside, Godbee said the first officer, identified as Joseph Weekley, was met by Jones' grandmother, Mertilla Jones.

For a more in-depth look at Officer Weekley, click here.

Investigators said Mertilla Jones struggled with Weekley in the front room, just feet from where Aiyana slept on the couch.

"Exactly what happened next is a matter still under investigation, but it appears the officer and the woman had some level of physical contact," Godbee said.

Weekley's gun went off, striking 7-year-old Aiyana in the neck and killing her, said police.

Mertilla Jones was arrested, drug tested and released the next day.

Fieger said a police cover-up that points to the suspected altercation with the grandmother was fabricated after the girl's death to mask the truth.

He said he has seen a videotape that depicts the events of the night.

The man police were originally looking for, 34-year-old Chauncey Owens, was arrested and later charged with murder.

To read the full story on Owens, click here.

"What this is about is a 7-year-old girl who has no business being dead. Whoever was responsible, however it happened, whatever retrospective look needs to be done, that's for the people who do this. But this is a 7-year-old girl who had absolutely nothing to do with any of the things that led up to the events prior to her life," said Sheffield.

Michigan State Police are investigating.


"The last two weeks have been absolutely horrendous for the city. Hopefully, our leadership, the faith-based community and the city at large will come together and sit down and talk our way through this and come up with an action plan," said Bing.

A fundraiser for Aiyana's funeral has been set up at all Fifth Third Bank branches.

Copyright 2011 by The Associated Press contributed to this report. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.