Sleeping 7-year-old girl shot in head during no-knock police raid on wrong home

Aiyana Stanley-Jones surrounded by the Disney princesses that she adored. (Source: family photo)

policestateusa.com / by Site Staff in News / October 14, 2014

DETROIT, MI — A Special Response Team shattered a family’s window in the middle of the night, hurled a flashbang onto a couch next to a sleeping girl, then charged in and shot her in the head.  The hyper-aggressive tactics were made worse by the fact that police had taken it upon themselves to raid both sides of a duplex, when their suspect was only known to reside in one of them.

* * * * *

On the evening of May 16, 2010, the Detroit Police Department’s Special Response Team (SRT) prepared for a surprise raid to arrest a wanted man. A surveillance unit had been monitoring the duplex in which he lived throughout the day and a no-knock raid was scheduled for just after midnight.

Police staged a so-called “safety briefing” shortly before the raid; undoubtedly focusing on their own safety rather than the safety of unknown innocents behind the doors they were about to kick in. Officers were briefed that they’d be entering a “possible dope den,” in which the suspect “might be armed” and might even possess “dangerous dogs.”

Police neglected to account for — or flatly disregarded — the safety of any potential children that might be present. Besides the glaring presence of toys strewn about the lawn and front porch, it is unlikely that investigators could have missed the presence of four young children and multi-generational family in the opposite unit during their surveillance of the duplex.

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