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Update on Murdered Girl: Police Raid Filmed for Reality TV

Update on Murdered Girl: Police Raid Filmed for Reality TV

Earlier it was reported that a police raid in a Detroit residence left 7-year-old Aiyana Jones dead. The murder suspect the police were after, Aiyana’s uncle Chauncey Owens, has since been charged with murder, but more information about Aiyana’s death is still being released.

It turns out the raid was filmed for a reality show called “The First 48″ which follows police officers 48 hours after a murder is committed.

Reporter Mitch Albom asks, “What on earth is a television crew doing in this mix? This is real life. Real bullets. Real blood. Real funerals. That may be the vicarious thrill for people watching at home, but last I looked, police do not exist to provide characters for the A&E Network…Some argue keeps [officers] honest. I argue they’re supposed to be honest.”

It is questionable whether police officers are truly held accountable through reality TV since cameramen are restricted to filming from the outside of homes only — the Supreme Court ruled in 1999 that it was a violation of the Fourth Amendment for media to record police during a raid into a private residence. In addition, the police department has the final say on editing of the footage. The Associated Press reports that in the past, the department has chosen to edit out footage that may portray the officers as less professional, such as footage of them smoking.

A spokesperson for Detroit Mayor Dave Bing told the press he had no knowledge of the police’s involvement with A&E’s reality show, and has since banned TV crews from taping police raids.

Another detail discovered is that the video footage shows that the gunshot actually came from the porch, according to the Jones’ attorney Geoffrey Fieger. However Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee contends that the gunshot was a result of an altercation between an officer and the girl’s grandmother.

Aiyana’s funeral was held last Friday with hundreds in attendance, including Mayor Bing. Reverend Al Sharpton delivered a eulogy, saying “Obviously, many things that swirl around the circumstances surrounding her death, but we’re really here to mourn and grieve her loss and to lift her up as an example of what needs to change in our city.” 

Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, recently wrote a letter to Attorney General Rep. John Conyers (D-MI), who chairs the House Judiciary Committee, recently wrote a letter to Attorney General Eric Holder asking for the Department of Justice to investigate the case, citing the fact that the city is under federal watch due to the high rate of fatal shootings by the Detroit Police Department and that the DPD has only complied to 44 percent of mandated reforms. Holder has yet to respond.


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91 comments

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10:09PM PDT on Jun 13, 2010

Michael C. :
Murder can also include a reckless act where death is a likely out come.

9:50AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

So sad anyway you look at it!

9:17AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

I cannot even beleive we live in an age of killing an innocent child = Higher TV ratings because of the Reality TV Popularity.. what has humankind come to.. the death of this little girl.. is so trajic.. and no one seems to place any value to her life.. other than the fact.. that one cop will cover for another to save thier butts. and to keep on filming so the public can view what happens in real time.. sad. sad.. Please people "Wake up" this could be ur child next.. In real life families will grieve endlessly.. because they lost a loved one.. because some idiot who wanted to do a Reality show where someone gets killed.. and that is ok with everybody???? Are you alright.. please WAKE UP

7:01AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

this was not a murder...murder is a legal definition that requires malice and/or intent to kill.

an accidental killing is not a murder and titling this article as such has no basis but to add sensationalistic fuel.

this whole blame the police for everything attitude is sick. yes, let's get rid of police and just let real murderers and criminals run free...give me a break.

1:08AM PDT on Jun 1, 2010

People getting their thrills this way are sick.

7:11PM PDT on May 31, 2010

To just trust that police are honest is the stupidest thing I have ever heard. Cops Lie all the time in court and the judge believes there lies 99% of the time. That is a true statistic not made up. Ask any lawyer how often anyone is actually found innocent by a judge when cops are involved. Cops Lie and they do it a lot and a child died the cop that shot her should go to jail as a criminal and any other cop that covered it up along with him.Hard to respect the law when this happens it really is a tragedy

11:49PM PDT on May 30, 2010

THIS HAS OVERSTEPPED THE REALITY TV. SINCE WHEN ARE THE POLICE IN STARRING ROLES ????? AN INNOCENT CHILD WAS MURDERED DOES HER LIFE HAVE MEANING ???

11:38PM PDT on May 30, 2010

First and foremost an innocent little girl died and I hope somebody was smart enough to subpoena all of the film footage taken...This is tragic.

5:49PM PDT on May 30, 2010

Joseph A.
My mistake, you must know more about this than is written in this article. I did not see anything about it being the "wrong house". And, this was not a drug raid. The original article stated that the Police were looking for this poor girl's uncles, who killed a 17 year old boy. Any woman that would hide these two in her house with a little girl inside, is worng.

If by having an opinion, I make you sick, again, my mistake. I thought that I was still in the US of A.

12:56PM PDT on May 30, 2010

That's really tragic.

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