Sunday, June 6, 2010

Three Stories Updating the Aiyana Jones Tragedy

Aiyana JonesLast month a slew of bloggers discussed the Aiyana Jones case, the tragedy in which Detroit police, while being filmed for A&E's reality show The First 48, shot the 7-year-old in the head, killing. Police raided her home looking for the man who allegedly murdered a 17-year-old, Je'Rean Blake.

As the story developed, another slew of people debated the family's criminal history as reported by neighbors. While I agree we African-Americans should take charge of crime in our communities and win back our neighborhoods, I could not condone the people who pointed fingers at the family for the little girl's death while ignoring the gross dysfunction of the police department. In addition to being filmed by a TV crew, the police, according to the Jones family attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, were at the wrong address.

However, it's also come to light that Aiyana's father, Charles Jones, 25, may have been with Chancey Owens the night Owens allegedly murdered Je'Rean Blake. Per the Detroit Free Press:
Chauncey Owens, according to a statement read in court Tuesday, told police he was the driver and the gunman. With him, the statement said, were Little James, Dirt and C.J.
Police say "C.J." is Charles Jones, Aiyana's dad.

I also said on Twitter and Facebook last month that if the family raised Aiyana in an unsafe environment, as neighbors declared, and knowingly harbored the man who allegedly murdered Je'Rean for looking at him the wrong way, and if her father was involved with Je'Rean Blake's murder, I also felt that he should not benefit financially from Aiyana's shooting.

It would be better, I said, if any money won in a civil suit could be awarded to Aiyana's community, instead of her father, and spent to provide better daycare services and education in her neighborhood? However, I don't know how the legal system would address such circumstances.

The Detroit Free Press story about Charles Jones's potential involvement says Owens's lawyer says more arrests are coming. However, the story also says, "Michigan law says that being with someone who commits a crime is not a crime in itself."

As this child's death is still on my mind, I periodically check for updates. Here are three.

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