this weekend, a seven year-old african-american girl, aiyana stanley jones, was shot & killed by detroit police. at the time of the shooting, aiyana was on a couch sleeping. detroit police entered her home to execute a search warrant in a homicide investigation & they threw a flash bang - also known as a stun grenade - thru the front window of jones' apartment.
eventually jones caught fire. as her grandmother tried to put out the flames, police entered & a gun went off. aiyana was shot in the neck & pronounced dead in the hospital. her father, charles jones, had to wait several hours b4 he was able to find out what happened to his precious daughter.
detroit police came to jones' home searching for a suspect in the recent shooting death of 17 year-old jerean blake, who was gunned down in front of his girlfriend on friday. blake's story is also a tale of senseless police brutality, a painful reminder of the domino effect this type of violence can have on a community.
sadly enuf, the police didn't find the suspect they came to apprehend. as such, they left jones' home without resolution. aiyana's family is now traumatized, yet their horrific story raises important questions: why are military-type weapons used in civilian homes? how do we hold law enforcement accountable while honoring their human fallibility? why do these types of crimes occur disproportionately among folks of african descent & low-income folks? what can we do to heal our wounded spirits?
instead of being excited about her friends at school, jumping rope & playing games, aiyana stanley jones is six feet under. violence towards african-descended women & children is not uncommon. black people & other progressive folk will, no doubt, honor her memory. however, we live in a white supremacist society which values the lives of people who don't look like aiyana. when a similar tragedy befalls becky, megan or suzie, america mourns for months...
who will cry for the little girl?
- mark j. tuggle
- harlem, usa
- same-gender-loving contemporary descendant of enslaved africans. community activist, feminist, health educator, independent filmmaker, mentor, playwright, poet & spiritual being. featured at, in & on africana.com, afrikan poetry theatre, angel herald, bejata dot com, bet tonight with tavis smiley, blacklight online, black noir, brooklyn moon cafe, gmhc's barbershop, klmo-fm, lgbt community services center, longmoor productions, nuyorican poets cafe, our corner, poz, pulse, rolling out new york, rush arts gallery, saint veronica's church, schomburg center for research in black culture, sexplorations, the citizen, the new york times, the soundz bar, the trenton times, the village voice, upn news, uzuri, venus, vibe, wbai-fm, wnyc-fm & wqht-fm. volunteered with adodi, bailey house, inc., black men's xchange-new york, colorofchange.org, drug policy alliance, east harlem tutorial program, imagenation film & music festival, presente.org, save darfur coalition, the enough project, the osborne association, the sledge group & your black world. worked on films with maurice jamal & heather murphy. writing student of phil bertelsen & ed bullins. firstname.lastname@example.org.