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Aiyana Jones case, attorney says Video shows police fired into Detroit home

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Events leading up to the shooting death of a seven-year-old girl at the hands of a Detroit officer may have been videotaped by a crime-reality series camera crew that was with police as they searched a family home for a homicide suspect.

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By COREY WILLIAMS and ED WHITE
The Associated Press
Tuesday, May 18, 2010; 12:39 AM

DETROIT -- Police who carried out a raid on a family home that left a 7-year-old girl dead over the weekend were accompanied by a camera crew for a reality television show, and an attorney says video of the siege contradicts the police account of what happened.

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Geoffrey Fieger, an attorney for the family of young Aiyana Jones, said he has seen three or four minutes of video of the raid, although he declined to say whether it was shot by the crew for the A&E series "The First 48," which has been shadowing Detroit homicide detectives for months.

Police have said officers threw a flash grenade through the first-floor window of the two-family home, and that an officer's gun discharged, killing the girl, during a struggle or after colliding with the girl's grandmother inside the home.

But Fieger said the video shows an officer lobbing the grenade and then shooting into the home from the porch.

"There is no question about what happened because it's in the videotape," Fieger said. "It's not an accident. It's not a mistake. There was no altercation."

"Aiyana Jones was shot from outside on the porch. The videotape shows clearly the officer throwing through the window a stun grenade-type explosive and then within milliseconds of throwing that, firing a shot from outside the home," he said.

A&E spokesman Dan Silberman said neither he nor anyone else from the network would comment about the case, and he denied a request by The Associated Press for the footage.

Detroit police were trying to obtain the film crew's footage, Assistant Chief Ralph Godbee said Monday.

Fieger said the investigation into what happened during the raid "needed to go no further than the videotape."

"The videotape shows clearly that the assistant police chief and the officers on the scene are engaging in an intentional cover up of the events," Fieger said. He said more than one camera was recording at the scene, and that the footage includes sound.

Police arrested the target of the raid, a 34-year-old man suspected of killing a 17-year-old boy, in the upstairs unit in the two-family home. Police had warrants to search both properties, and family members of the slain girl were seen going in and out of both on Monday. The suspect has not been charged, and it was not immediately clear what relationship he had to the slain girl.

The case has been handed over to the Michigan State Police to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest, Wayne County Prosecutor Kym Worthy said Monday.


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