7-Year-Old Killed During Reality TV Show Filming
A 7-year-old girl was accidentally shot and killed by police during a raid that was being filmed for a reality TV show. INSIDE EDITION talks to an expert who weighs in on whether the filming played a role in the girl's tragic death.
A white casket holding the body of 7-year old girl is carried outside a church in Detroit.
Little Aiyana Jones's death is sparking national outrage because she was killed by a bullet fired during a police raid at her home, all while reality TV cameras were rolling. The raid was being filmed for the A&E network crime show The First 48.
The officer who fired the shot that killed Aiyana has been identified as 34-year-old Joseph Weekley.
Weekley has been featured on another reality cop show, Detroit S.W.A.T. which also airs on A&E. A fourteen-year veteran , Weekley has spent the last six years with city's elite S.W.A.T. team.
Here's what happened the day Aiyana died. Cops were searching for a 34-year-old murder suspect who lived on the second floor of Aiyana's family house. The S.W.A.T. team threw a flash grenade through a window, and they say when they burst in, they ran right into Aiyana's grandmother. There was a struggle, and according to police, Weekley's gun accidently discharged, killing the girl.
Her parents could hardly contain their their grief at the young girl's funeral.
Al Sharpton said, "This young lady's going home should be a wake-up call!"
Aiyana's eulogy was delivered by the Reverand Al Sharpton. He says he's concerned about mixing law enforcement with reality TV.
Sharpton said, "I think the real issue is, does the presence of these TV crews make police become 'performers'. And the only way to get a repeat appearance is to do something dramatic."
But security expert Pat Brosnan says mixing cameras and cops is a good thing.
"I think cameras, instead of making the police 'performers' actually put them in complete and total compliance with all the regulatory controls, policies and procedures, as well as put them on the spot in terms of their behavior," said Brosnan.
Brosnan has no doubt the little girl's death was a tragic accident, saying, "I don't think that there's a person on the planet that would think for one micro-second that this officer in some way wanted to murder a 7-year-old."
Detroit police released a statement saying they were "confident the film's crews presence had no effect on how the raid was conducted."
But a little 7-year-old's grieving family still wants answers.
The mayor of Detroit says as a result of the little girl's death, he is now banning television cameras from tagging along on police raids.
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