Police, armed with the weapons of war too often kill

Aiyana Jones originally by: ACLU
published: 6 March 2013

Nine-year-old Aiyana Jones was sleeping on the couch next to her grandmother when a SWAT team threw a “flashbang” through the window of her Detroit, Michigan home.

The “flashbang” – a stun grenade originally developed for wartime raids – immediately set fire to Aiyana’s blanket.  Seconds later, the SWAT team stormed through the door, and confused by the deafening and blinding effects of the “flashbang,” mistakenly shot Aiyana through the neck, killing her.

Questions abound in the wake of this 2010 tragedy. Did the Detroit police truly need amped-up military equipment routinely used in nighttime raids in Iraq and Afghanistan? Did access to the tools and tactics of a combat theater unnecessarily encourage more aggressive policing? If the police had not used a “flashbang,” would Aiyana still be alive?

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