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Retrial for Officer Joseph Weekly to begin in Detroit

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Zach McAuliffe
Zach McAuliffe is a University of Dayton alumni with degrees in journalism and English. He wants to present people with all the facts they need to make informed decisions on the world around them. He also enjoys Shakespeare and long walks on the beach with his puppy Lily.

Four years ago, the Detroit Police Department conducted a raid on a home in search of a murder suspect, but a 7-year-old girl was caught in the crossfire.

Aiyana Stanley-Jones was killed during the raid from a gunshot wound to her head.  Aiyana was sleeping on the couch in the living room of the house, when a flash grenade thrown by police crashed through the window.  The police hoped the grenade would render the inhabitants inside the house confused and easy to subdue.  After the grenade went off, police stormed the house, and within seconds, Aiyana was shot and killed.

Officer Joseph Weekly, 38, is being charged with involuntary manslaughter and careless discharge of a firearm which resulted in the death of Aiyana.  Officer Weekly testified in court for his first trial in 2013, according to RT, “I replay this every day in my head… There’s nothing else I could have done differently.”

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His first trial ended in a deadlock and was declared a mistrial in June, 2013.

The retrial is set to begin soon as juror selection began this morning despite Officer Weekly’s attorney, Steve Fishman, asking for an adjournment until 2015 following the shooting in Ferguson.  Fishman wrote, according to the Detroit Free Press, the “media frenzy” following the shooting has resulted in the vilification of police officers across the nation, and this would not allow for a fair and unbiased trial for Officer Weekly.

His defense is calling the shooting tragic, but also defending Officer Weekly saying his actions were not grossly negligent.

Officer Weekly is part of the Special Response Team who was carrying out a warrant in search of Chauncey Owens, a suspect in the death of 17-year-old Je’Rean Blake.  Aiyana’s father, Charles, is accused of providing the gun which was used to kill Blake.

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