Aiyana Stanley-Jones was sleeping on the couch when a police officer had shot her in the head during a raid in 2010.
Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia announced the settlement with the family of Aiyana Stanley-Jones four days before a civil trial was to begin.
According to Detroit News, the city of Detroit reached an $8.25 million settlement Thursday with the family of a 7-year-old girl accidentally killed by a police officer during a 2010 raid.
7-year-old Aiyana was sleeping on a couch beside her grandmother as Detroit police raided their home in search of a murder suspect in 2010. She was fatally shot... Her family will receive $8.25 million in the wake of her death. We MUST END #policebrutality https://t.co/1pKhrqzLTo— EBONY MAGAZINE (@EBONYMag) 5 April 2019
The civil trial in the death of the 7-year-old Detroit girl was set to begin Monday in Wayne County Circuit Court.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed by Detroit Police Officer Joseph Weekley on May 16, 2010, during a raid that was being filmed by a TV camera crew.
A police special response team had raided the family's flat to find a suspect in the murder of 17-year-old Je'Rean Blake outside a convenience store.
Seven-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot in the head while she slept on a couch during a 2010 police raid. Nearly a decade later, the city of Detroit has reached an $8.25 million settlement with her family. https://t.co/BqAbIqq59Y— HuffPost BlackVoices (@blackvoices) 5 April 2019
"Aiyana's death was a tragic loss for her family and has been a heavy burden on our community. We believe today's settlement is fair because it balances the needs of Aiyana's family and our responsibility for the city's finances. We hope this resolution will provide everyone involved a measure of closure," Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said in a statement.
The family of Aiyana Stanley-Jones agreed to an $8.25M settlement with the city of Detroit over the girl's shooting death in a police raid nine years ago. https://t.co/GDwfQv5oVi— The Detroit News (@detroitnews) 4 April 2019
The settlement still needs approval from the Detroit City Council.
The girl was shot in the head while she slept on a couch. Joseph Weekley, a member of an elite police unit, was the first officer through the door of her home during a chaotic search for a murder suspect. He says he accidentally fired his gun during a struggle with Aiyana’s grandmother.
Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a 7yo Detroit girl, was shot + killed in 2010. Detroit reached an $8.25M settlement in her tragic, wrongful death#Humanity#BlackLivesMatter #ThisIsAmerica https://t.co/oTEEFXIDfj pic.twitter.com/K39cqqPmDm— SoniaCarmen (@SoniCubed) 6 April 2019
The Michigan Supreme Court last September cleared the way for a trial or settlement when it declined to hear an appeal after two courts ruled a jury could decide whether Weekley’s actions amounted to gross negligence.
Weekley was charged with involuntary manslaughter in Aiyana's death, with his first trial ending with a hung jury in June 2013. But a judge dismissed that charge during a second trial in 2014.
The family's attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, said Thursday the case took so long to resolve because of the city's bankruptcy and an appeal. He said the city understood the enormity of the case since it involved "the killing of a 7-year-old old child during a made-for-TV police raid."
Fieger said the settlement should allow the girl's family, the city and Weekley to move on from the tragedy but added that the loss of a child is something "you can never recover from."
"It's a wound that never heals," he said. "(The final settlement) won't provide full justice. The only full justice would be to bring Aiyana back and I can't do that."
Conflicting accounts of the raid led to a lengthy investigation and two mistrials in the case of Aiyana’s killer. Eventually, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the remaining misdemeanor charges against Weekley, and he was allowed to return to the force in 2015.
Aiyana's father, Charles Jones, was convicted in Blake's shooting death and sentenced to 40-60 years. Jones was accused of providing a gun to Chauncey Owens to kill Blake outside a Detroit convenience store.