Today marks five years since seven year-old, Aiyana Stanley-Jones, was shot by police. To refresh your memory, Aiyana, whose home was on the east side of Detroit, Michigan was shot in a raid gone wrong by the Detroit Police. Notably, she was shot while she was asleep. Specifically, Officer Joseph Weekly was charged with involuntary manslaughter and recklessly discharging a firearm. After a first mistrial, a dismissal of the involuntary manslaughter charge and a second mistrial, Weekly was cleared of all charges.
While this doesn’t come as a surprise to anyone who is paying attention to how Black people are treated and the “repercussions” that are faced by the “justice” system, it is still a heartbreaking memory to anyone who followed this story from beginning to end. Aiyana would be 12 years old, just two months short of the big 13. She would be in school, thinking of everything from what she wanted to be when she grew up, to having romantic crushes. Her future was stolen in a way that happens far too often.
We need our children to know that their lives matter, that their dreams are important, and that they deserve to be given the chance to see their dreams come true. This should not have to be something we beg for. We should not have to beg for our children to live. So take a moment to remember Aiyana today. We hope you are resting peacefully sweet angel.
And here are some tweets from #AiyanasDreams. You may want to get some tissues before you start reading.