Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Police in death of 7-year-old "Were excited; they were on TV"

Chicago Police Department: "Police work is not entertainment."

We don't often post off-topic news (this is a Gosselin blog and its niche is the Gosselins, and other things going on around the world or even on TV can easily be found and talked about elsewhere) but this revelation today in the tragic accidental death of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones has us stunned.

Aiyana died when a police officer's weapon accidentally discharged during a raid and hit her in the neck, according to the Detroit Police (eyewitnesses however have reported it was a grenade thrown into the house, or possibly a shot fired into the house).

What has not been mentioned until now, however, is that police were being filmed at the time of her death for A&E's popular reality show "The First 48". And the circumstances of little Aiyana's death have been captured on film and could be used as evidence.

We often hear that children on reality shows are "just living their lives" and that therefore it should be okay. If they just were indeed living their lives, it probably would be okay, we agree. But incidents like this one make one question whether people really do act differently when there is a camera crew around--and are not, in fact, just living their lives, whether they are at home hanging around the house or at work doing their jobs. It's arguably harmless error when it's just a family being filmed on a vacation, but not so harmless when it's a cop with a weapon. According to reports today:

Some, including one former attorney for Aiyana's family, believe the presence of the reality-TV show crew may have encouraged police officers to act with more bravado than necessary. Attorney Karri Mitchell, who was replaced by Fieger, said the police "were excited; they were on TV." Mitchell told The Detroit News that the TV show's need for drama may have inspired the officers to act with too much force.
"They didn't have to throw a grenade through the front window when they knew there were children in there," she said.

A&E has faced heavy criticism in the past for its show "Intervention" and other reality dramas that delve deep into addictions and mental illness, and according to many, "exploit" their subjects' problems when they are most vulnerable. Did the Detroit police act differently because of the cameras? Did they throw a grenade into the house just to beef up the drama? We'll never know. And neither will Aiyana.
The good news is not everyone thinks that police should be filmed. Police departments in Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, and Orlando have refused requests to tape in their cities. Chicago Police Department Deputy Director of News Affairs Patrick Camden has stated in response to requests for COPS taping that "police work is not entertainment. What they do trivializes policing. We've never seriously even considered taping."


59 sediments (sic) from readers:

kelly said...

As a former Police Officer, I am not buying for one minute the Police Departments bleached statement about the officers gun going off accidently. Additionally, as Police Officers, we go through such rigourous physical training, weapons training and have to qualify on the Pistol/Rifle range twice yearly.

There is no way that an officer allowed his gun to go off accidently. I'm not buying it for one minute. This child was sleeping in a bed and had the Police Department allowed a film crew to enter that home during a request for police assistance, that department is liable.

We all had "Ride Alongs" during my time on the force and when we had "Ride Alongs", citizens wanting to witness what it was like during an officers shift, any call that was deemed suspect with danger, the ride along was ordered to stay in the car.

Something smells real bad about this and the fact that an innocent child died at the hands of a reality television crew and a careless cop should be investigated until the lazy, stupid and complicent parties are vetted and brought to justice.

This is just reality television going amock and people are becoming victims. This would have NEVER happened on my department nor with the men and women I was privledged and honored to serve with.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

This reality thing is truly out of control. Is there anything that won't be filmed and exploited? Next they'll be in our bedrooms filming and dissecting what we do under the covers.

It probably won't end until something like this happens, probably many times.

Carolina Gal said...

This is the first I've heard of this story, and it is tragic, tragic and despicable. God speed little Aiyana. Hopefully this serves as a springboard for lawmakers to take action to do something re: reality shows. How ridiculous putting cameras on a group of cops with weapons, for them to be filmed "just doing what they'd be doing anyway". Of course they acted more aggressively than they would have, had there been no cameras, no doubt in my mind.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

COPS has been on more than 20 years! But not all cities think Cops is OKAY, that cops are just living their lives being filmed.

Police departments in Chicago, Detroit, Honolulu, and Orlando have refused requests to tape in their cities. Chicago Police Department Deputy Director of News Affairs Patrick Camden has stated in response to requests for COPS taping that "police work is not entertainment. What they do trivializes policing. We've never seriously even considered taping."

Kelly said...

It's already being filmed and dissected under our covers. It's called "Pay TV". We can order up whatever we want to see, as long as we pay for it. It's wrong but unfortunately, there's an audience willing to pay for it. Network television is worse than the Oil Companies. Profits are all they see and victims are just collateral damage.

Kelly said...

My department has NEVER been filmed or requested to be filmed on "Cops" Thankfully, our chief and the "brassholes" that run the department, run it like a professional organization for the publics welfare and safety, not their entertainment.

kimmie said...

i don't believe that the film crew being there precipitated the gun going off. w/o the film crew the same thing could have happened. because it was the environment the child was in caused by her parents that would have had the police there regardless of filming.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

Well what's interesting is there is now three different stories--a grenade thrown into the house, a gun accidentally going off, and a gun shot into the house. Which is it?

Absolutely without the film crew the same thing could have happened. But there has been a suggestion made that cops were more brazen, threw a grenade in for the drama. We can't ever know if they did or not. But why chance it? Why not just not have reality shows interfering with this dangerous job???

And if nothing is wrong with having film crews along with cops, why have so many MAJOR cities said absolutely not, including Chicago? They must see something wrong with it.

IDModo said...

What an incredibly sad story!In the first place, if they investigated the alleged criminals before the raid, they probably knew, or should have assumed that there might be, children in the house.Why would a police department be throwing grenades anyway? And, if we assume that people are innocent until they are proven guilty, what right does a police department have in bringing a film crew to invade someone's privacy in the first place?
An innocent little one has died as a result of the lust for "reality" entertainment, and the greed of its makers, who IMO are morally bankrupt and evil people.
I hope some heads roll for this one, and not just on the police department, but at A&E.There is no moral or ethical excuse for murdering a child for ratings.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

I wonder if it is common practice for police to throw in grenades. I've dealt with dozens of cases involving police raids, I've never read about grenades being involved.

I wonder if they staked out the place and for how long. If so they might have realized there was a child there.

A full investigation needs to be done to discover what mistakes were made and how to do better next time.

Children should not die like this, period. We can do better.

Irene S said...

This is a very sad story. It just stops you in your tracks. Maybe it would have happened regardless but I just think we need to rethink this whole Reality format.

Yes, Kelly I agree, television networks are a group in and of themselves. They are like you said fueled by the viewers & advertisers.

It's a sad sad day when a 7 year old is part of the collateral damage though. Thanks for sharing. It is jarring for sure.

Kelly said...

From what I have read on the news blogs, the Cops were there to arrest a possible homicide suspect who may have been holed up at the residence.

Based on that info, there is no way any credible department would have allowed a film crew to enter the home, with the officers in an effort to arrest the suspect.

On the other hand, the family wasn't a stand up respectable family to have been on the radar screen, harboring a fugitive, but nonetheless, the child ended up the victim.

IDModo said...

Kimmie- We don't know that about the parents or the environment. Recently in our city an immigrant dad from Sri Lanka was badly beaten in a raid in front of his children; unfortunately the police had the wrong house.I'm not suggesting that the police made a mistake in this case, but IMO it sounds like you have convicted the parents without a trial.
By the way,
I'm sure most of the officers involved in this are feeling really terrible and would give anything to have done it differently. It's a hard enough job without cameras and film crews.

IATK said...

I saw this on HLN this afternoon and it is just so very sad. My second thought, how did the greed of a down and dirty reality filming contribute to this tragedy. Kelly, you would know better than any of us how this should have gone down and I think we can debate this until we're blue in the face, but I agree that reality TV has gone too far in all areas. WAAYYY too far. This is just getting ridiculous and it is so disgusting that I'm ready to toss my TV in the trash. What happened to the ART of filming scripted shows and taking pride in the craft rather than the sleazy, use and abuse non-actors and then slap it together and sell it as reality? I'm sick of all of it.

MickeyMcKean said...

My deepest sympathy to the family and friends of Aiyana. This is a senseless tragedy.

The fact that this incident was filmed will be a blessing to either the police department or to the family, but not both. Regardless, Aiyana paid the ultimate price.

In time the public will be informed whether or not the film crew with their equipment contributed to this tragedy. If yes, hopefully something positive will change filming policies.

RE: Children in Reality TV Shows/Violent Scenarios

The last time I watched Little People Big World was during an episode where Zack (18) and Matt (13) were having a fight over something stupid. Obviously the camera crew were there but the parents were not home.

What I recall is that the fight escalated to where one brother in retaliation got a BB gun and was hunting for his brother. TLC's film crew kept on filming of course even though shots were fired and one of the boys got hit.

Now, somehow Molly (15) who was inside the house discovered what was going on with her brothers. It was Molly who came outside to diffuse the situation and confiscated the weapon.

Did TLC's film crew grow a conscience after one of the kids got hit and decided to go and get Molly? If so, why not diffuse the situation themselves? Oh perhaps they wanted to film the sister diffusing the situation?

My personal impression when I saw this episode was that because of the show and the money that has been paid to this family by TLC over the years that these kids are now priviledged and have lost common sense.

Bottom Line: IMHO shooting a BB gun at anyone in the hopes of hitting the target and inflicting bodily harm is *NOT* entertainment. What makes matters worse is that this segment was aired as if it was promoting getting even with a sibling by shooting them.

So when you get down to it, TLC is the one promoting violence within families for ratings. But in Aiyana's case it was A&E. Changes need to be made in all reality TV programs - I just hope we don't have to lose a lot of children before the laws are changed.


Kelly said...


This shouldn't have gone down the way it did. The Police shouldn't have had a film crew there when serving a warrant on a possible homicide suspect. They probably didn't know that children were in the house. We don't have that information when serving a warrant, be it for a misdeameanor or felony.

What we do, when serving process is have additional backups and take every move seriously. We don't announce when we're coming, nor do we tip off news organizations to film. The most dangerous part of police work is handling domestic arguments, warrant service and traffic stops. More cops are killed primarily making traffic stops and then domestic arguments. Warrant service is usually handled by a minimum of two cops and maybe more depending on the severity of the crime, the location, the background of the suspect and extenuating circumstances.

This family wasn't the most upstanding family but the child was such an innocent victim. The department involved has more questions to answer than the film they allowed and the officer in question should be fired at the very least for his hair trigger response.

People who become cops have to be screened, held to a higher standard and held accountable for the stupid, half thought decisions they make during the course of their tour of duty. The fact that this child died, at the hands of a police officer who didn't check his weapon and claims to have misfired is total bullshit.

Weapons don't misfire by accident. Weapons are fired like cars start when someone who has the key, turns the ignition. I won't buy this excuse and the public shouldn't either. Bad Cop, NO DONUT.

kimmie said...

mickey i do not believe for a second that TLC or A&E were promoting violence in either instance. that to me is ridiculous.

they were filming - period - and caught it during filming.

and i do think it is horribly sad about that little girl. i just don't blame the filming crew or the network.

i have seen on many many shows where the police have went in to aprehend a felon and a filming crew was allowed in with them, right behind them in some cases. i don't think it means it was *real* or that if it was out of the ordinary. i'd say that the network had obtained permits to do so.

jibberjabbers said...

Actually, w/o the A&E film crew on the scene filming it, the TRUTH would have never gotten out and the Cop(s) would have had their way with their 'version' of the story.

Luckily the family's lawyer got a hold of the tape and it corresponded to the father's side of the story and not the cops.

It is very sad that this has happened the it is entirely at the fault of the Department handling the warrant and the cops at the scene.

Whatever happened to knocking on the front door and asking questions? Instead of shoot 1st and ask questions alter. "Flash grenades"... Really?

jibberjabbers said...

This family wasn't the most upstanding family but the child was such an innocent victim. The department involved has more questions to answer than the film they allowed and the officer in question should be fired at the very least for his hair trigger response.


How do you know this? The cops raided the WRONG HOUSE....

SG said...

So sad... I hope the film crew at least has footage to answer the question of what really happened. It really is horrible if this happened because it was being filmed.

That Little People Big World BB Gun episode sounds disturbing.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

Kimmie, what does a cop show promote but violence? Everyone goes on and on about shoot 'em up video games, car chase video games, but it's okay to have a TV show about cops doing a violent job? Cops have to do their jobs, but when you put it on TV for entertainment, it becomes something else. As the Chicago PD says, it's NOT entertainment. It's a job that needs to be done, cameras have no business being there and it's voyeuristic and sick to enjoy this kind of thing just as I think it's sick to watch and enjoy for our own entertainment the kind of freak shows TLC puts out there for us.

Just because TLC or A&E may have had all good intentions doesn't mean the show is not promoting something bad. I actually think both these networks have had good intentions at least at one time. Just because "many" shows have filmed an apprehension doesn't mean it's 1. okay or 2. safe. Just because a network obtains permits doesn't mean it's 1. okay or 2. safe.

You seem to imply this is all okay if they just got a permit. A permit is a piece of paper issued by a government that may well be corrupt or have some kind of interest in it (think PA government might have just a tiny bit of interest in the good will the Gosselins bring the state???). They used to give out permits to hunt elephants or cut down trees too. Doesn't mean it's okay. Don't just blindly follow the government because they said it was okay, did some kind of half-ass investigation that didn't even include a homestudy, and stamped some useless piece of paper. The government is NOT fool proof, squeaky clean, without fault, without motive, pure and not interested in money. Please. Nothing is!

I'm sure the family of this little girl does not feel that her death couldn't be helped because there may have been a permit. A permit is, in my opinion, totally useless and pointless. All that aside, we have absolutely no evidence a permit was required in this situation or ever issued. A little girl is dead, and it was filmed by a reality show. End of story.

SG said...

We don't really know... But the point is that IF the camera crews had an effect on how the cops handled the situation and this outcome was the result of that, it's wrong.

SG said...

I have to say I never thought of the negative side of filming cops in action. I always thought it would make the cops be more careful because it's on tape. I also thought of it as a protection for both the cop and the criminal... So many cops are accused of excessive force and video footage has exhonorated them... As well as proven police brutality.

And I got to see the cute cops in their uniforms in action too.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

That's the thing SG so many of these reality shows seem so innocent at first blush. I don't think anyone saw a problem with the Gosselins in the beginning. It was innocent, period.

Cops shows seem like a good way to see what cops do, it's interesting, a bit campy. Same with Intervention. But once in awhile something happens because or perhaps linked to a reality show--someone commits suicide, gets hurt, gets killed. Covers their face and hides from the paps. Suddenly what's innocent makes you wonder if it all really is.

SG said...

I don't agree that cop shows "promote violence" like video games do. Video games glorify violence and crime. Cop shows don't.

I do agree though that there is a chance the filming may interfere with the job.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

Let's be honest though, why do people watch Cops shows? Is it really to learn how members of the force go about their jobs so maybe you too might do that some day or at least have a better understanding of it? Or is it to watch them break down a door or throw a grenade inside and arrest a felon? And what is their demographic? Could it be largely young males?

The theme song is "bad boys, bad boys, whatya gonna do." It is about violence. People LOVE a good guy beats the bad guy story, and since this is "real" the attraction is even more. At least this involves consenting adults and if you don't consent they blur your face. Of course this 7 year old couldnt consent.

SG said...

I can only tell you why I, as a young woman in her late teens, early twenties watched it back in the day...
It was interesting. It was more than breaking down doors and violence. There were drug deals gone wrong, domestic violence, traffic stops, resisting arrests, and my favorites the K9 dogs. I can't imagine any teen male seeing that and thinking Cool... I want to be in the receiving end of that... I want to be a criminal. Maybe it's just because I am female that I don't see it but I don't think so.

Every once in a while there was a good one where they helped a child and you saw the sweet side of the law, not just the strong side.

And like I said... I like a man in uniform... A motorcycle cop was a plus. ;)

jibberjabbers said...

They filmed the whole incident...no confrontation ever happened... all the cops lied after the fact but the lawyer for the parents saw the tape...they threw the grenade threw the window and shot the gun outside the house hitting the child sleeping on the sofa...

TVSnark said...

Hi All,
What a very interesting thread. This story breaks my heard and I also heard that they went to the wrong apartment. People, whether they are children or adults, doctors, cops, cooks, models, act different when they are on TV.

Click on my name post about 11 Reality TV Suicides.
There was also the guy on "Megan wants a Millionaire" that murdered his girlfriend, threw her in a dumpster and was on the lamb for a few days. He finally killed himself in a hotel room.

He might have actually "won" the show. VH1 pulled the remaining episodes since this was unfolding as the show was airing.


IDModo said...

Jibberjabbers- the police raided the wrong house in my example of something that went on in our city, not in the case of this little girl's death.

MickeyMcKean said...

kimmie said...
mickey i do not believe for a second that TLC or A&E were promoting violence in either instance. that to me is ridiculous.

they were filming - period - and caught it during filming.


In the case of Aiyana, A&E was onsite and they were filming. This was a police action and the police were in charge at all times. In other words the film crew would not be able to ask the police to redo something in order to make sure the lighting is "just right".

In the case of the TLC's LPBW episode, I saw two brothers fighting and the "getting even" was escalating. It was obvious to me that neither child was going back down thanks to their young male egos/tempers.

At what point do you think the TLC camera crew who are filming these children for a reality TV show - where the parents were not home - should use their ADULT judgment, put down their cameras and diffuse the situation?

After a child is hurt? Killed? What makes good reality TV these days?

One of the Roloff boys was shot and bleeding; granted it was not life threatening. But what if the child had been shot in the eye and permanently lost his sight?

Will you as a viewer be entertained seeing how a fight began, escalated, a weapon appears, a child is shot and eventually an ambulance is called so paramedics can stop the bleeding?

Should the cameras keep on filming at all times no matter what?

We know that reality shows are scripted; I saw on ROL or TMZ a recent photo of the Roloff's desk with a script. As such I find I'm now wondering whether or not the TLC camera crew were egging on these boys to get even in order to make the episode "entertaining". All I know is that the children, after years of having the cameras there, continued in their fight without either one of them backing down and were not phased whatever that it was being filmed.

Kimmie, believe me when I say I was NOT entertained whatsoever. IMHO I believe when the gun came out and the one brother was hunting the other, the adults should have used their discretion and diffused the situation BEFORE I, the viewer, saw any blood. But to make matters worse, TLC then aired the episode putting out the message that it is OK to hunt and shoot the person you are mad at in order to get even. I was NOT entertained whatsoever.


MickeyMcKean said...

As a footnote to my post about the LPBW episode, I found this response from Matt Roloff, father of Jacob (13?) and Zach (18?) about the episode that aired in Nov? 2009:

How did you feel when you heard that Zach and Jacob got into an air gun/BB gun fight and Jacob got shot in the face?

Matt's Answer: Not happy about that at all. We saw that in our screening and were not happy but didn't have any justification to kill those scenes so you got to see something raw even though we didn’t necessarily like what we saw. And the kids got an earful as well.


IMHO the justification to kill those scenes would be to NOT send out the message that shooting your brother in the face is OK at any time!

I still believe that the TLC camera crew should have stopped the escalating violence before I saw blood!!!


pa mom too said...

How very sad. :( This stuff happens with or without a film crew there, but reality tv is going way too far. Do we really need to have our noses stuck in everything ? There needs to be a line drawn somewhere, but when ratings and money are at stake, no one wants to draw the line. Just like with the Gosselins, the ratings were the highest with the "big announcement" show. The split and divorce did not need to be announced on the show like that, but TLC knew they had a winner there, even though a family with 8 children was being torn apart. Nothing is private anymore.

IDModo said...

There were instances on J&K+8 where the kids were hitting each other with toys, etc., and really hurting each other , where Mady was violent with the little ones, and I always wondered why nobody intervened. Once in a while is understandable with kids but they seemed to hit each other a lot and were very seldom consequenced for this behaviour.I realise that on a scale of 1-10 this is not the same as shooting with a BB gun, but I always wondered how far it would go before somebody got badly hurt (being hit in the face with a toy truck for instance).Jon and Kate were often out of the room when this was happening, and the cameras ground merrily on, with no intervention from anyone.
How can anybody think this is OK? Camera crews, producers, anybody?
IMO it's only two steps from filming (and watching) this, to filming (and watching) Jacob being shot by Zach, to filming and watching as a child gets killed in a police raid.
I realise that film crews have to cover actual news and it is often violent beyond our wildest nightmares, but violence "for our viewing pleasure" is just sick and scary. JMO.

IATK said...

If you saw two teens running down the street in front of your house and one was holding a rifle and pointing it at the other, even if you knew it was a BB gun, what would you do? Yell for them to stop, try and intervene, call the police, or do nothing?

I understand that reality shows are specific in their instructions to the production crew to do nothing, but I wonder if there is any provision that allows them to intervene when there is a great potential for bodily harm to one of the family/cast members. And if not, should there be?

I assume the parents signed away their rights to physical injury lawsuits against the networks in the event this occurred. Evidentally it's okay to look the other way at the risk of imminent child endangerment. Why do we place such a low value on the life of a child just for the sake of entertainment?

Isn't this why the original production crew of J&K had moral conflicts with the filming of their show? That they saw events so worrisome that they felt compelled to step in, yet were not allowed to do so?

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

Even in journalism school in required ETHICS class they taught me that there's nothing wrong with intervening when something bad is happening, there's not some code that says a journalist must stay behind his reporter's notebook. Journalists step in all the time. There's tons of documented reports of journalists helping out in car accidents, fires, swimming accidents, wars where people are injured.

You insert yourself into the story, that's a risk you take, but at a certain point it's not about getting the story, it's about a fellow human being. Would any other profession not help out because they're busy doing their job? Of course not.

It's amazing that it's so unheard of for a reality crew to put down the camera. I wonder where they do draw the line.

IATK said...


An interesting read from American Humane website,

Types of Neglect

Professionals define four types of neglect physical, educational, emotional and medical.

Emotional/Psychological neglect

Emotional/Psychological neglect includes actions such as engaging in chronic or extreme spousal abuse in the child’s presence, allowing a child to use drugs or alcohol, refusing or failing to provide needed psychological care, constantly belittling the child and withholding affection. Parental behaviors considered to be emotional child maltreatment include:

Ignoring (consistent failure to respond to the child’s need for stimulation, nurturance, encouragement and protection or failure to acknowledge the child’s presence);

Rejecting (actively refusing to respond to the child’s needs — e.g., refusing to show affection);

Verbally assaulting (constant belittling, name calling or threatening);

Isolating (preventing the child from having normal social contacts with other children and adults);

Terrorizing (threatening the child with extreme punishment or creating a climate of terror by playing on childhood fears); and

Corrupting or exploiting (encouraging the child to engage in destructive, illegal or antisocial behavior).

A pattern of this parental behavior can lead to the child’s poor self-image, alcohol or drug abuse, destructive behavior and even suicide.

Linda in NS said...

This should be a wake up call to all "reality" TV shows and this type of filming should end. Now! Unfortunately TLC/A&E/etc all share the same name "Lucifer". When anybody makes a deal with reality producers they are selling their souls to the devil.

IDModo said...

Itsaboutthekids:Thanks for posting the article on neglect,instances of which we have all seen on J&K+8.Once again I reiterate- it's NOT child abuse in Pennsylvania!Please, everybody, read the PA child abuse laws and then get on the blower to your legislators about them! The Gosselins are not the only kids in PA who are suffering under their inadequate laws- Ordinary kids that don't have the support of groups like this one.

TVSnark said...

This reminds me of a comedian talking about the Rodney King video, "Put down the camera and help me, ()#=)^%!!"

kimmie said...

admin no i do not think as long as they got a permit it was ok for the little girl to get shot...not at all. my comment was about if it was real the filming crew wouldn't have been allowed in there. that's simply not true.

as to the lpbw episode, and especially since reading what matt rolof had to say about it, i remember that on j&k it was said that the filming crew weren't allowed to stop the kids. they did tell kate afterwards that one of the kids was hitting another. maybe there is a *unless it is fatal, not allowed to interfere* clause. THIS IS A SPECULATION ON MY PART!

anyway i think a gun caccidently firing or misfiring is not impossible and does/has happened with or without film crews. look at how many accidental deaths there are recorded in regards to that.

i guess i just am not going to blame the filming crew for this tragedy.

TheresaB said...

Kimmie, do you believe you know more about guns than Kelly, an ex-cop?

Anonymous said...

How can you know for sure the cameras didn't make the police more brazen? We can never know for sure. Why take a chance with a 7 year old's life?

Also the police claim the gun went off. Witnesses say that's NOT what happened, they threw a grenade in there.

jibberjabbers said...

IDModo said...

Jibberjabbers- the police raided the wrong house in my example of something that went on in our city, not in the case of this little girl's death.


With all do respect, I did not get my source from you. They found the suspect in the up stair apartment, which they had NO warrant for.

The source I got it from was CNN.

"No murder suspect was found in Aiyana's house," Fieger said in Monday's interview. "In fact, there's an upstairs apartment next door which the police did not have a search warrant for and that is where he surrendered, they went into that house too. But he was not in Aiyana's house."

"Of course, I have seen the videotape and the videotape vividly portrays the fact that a percussion grenade device was thrown through the front window and a shot was fired immediately from the outside from the porch," he said.

If you visit that link, you can see a video of the father talking and he clearly stated that the cops raided the wrong house. He was also very emotional and stated that his daughter was his only happiness.

I don't make shlt up..

jibberjabbers said...

Sorry, here's is the link: http://www.cnn.com/2010/CRIME/05/16/michigan.police.child/index.html

IATK said...

I don't think anyone is saying the film crew were 100% to blame. Only that the cameras rolling might have influenced the police to momentarily act in a manner that they wouldn't have, had there been no cameras. I don't think it's a black and white answer, but it certainly needs to be considered if it will save the life of the next child involved in a raid. Police work is sometimes a life and death profession. Why take the risk just so the folks back home can watch a spectular scene for their next cops and robbers episode? Is the risk worth the life of a child, or any person for that matter?

IATK said...

From the CNN report it sounds like the question is, why was a grenade thrown and why were shots fired from outside? If that's not SOP, why did they do it?

jibberjabbers said...

The cops raided the wrong house. And their child died. That is messed up.

My house was raided once and my mothers car was taken away. We were terrified and didn't know what was going on.

Long story short, they raided our home because my mother drove a blue Camry that "fit" the description of another car used in a drive by shooting.

I of course filed a complaint. And 1 week later, I received a call and that cop tried to black mail me.

They apologized for everything, BUT told me that in order for us to get the car back, I must drop my complaint against them.

They messed up our home, took the car away (Mother didn't have any other source for transportation to work). etc etc.

They searched the car for traces of gun powder and obviously found nothing.

Maybe they should have search the car 1st for powder, before raiding the house. Cops get the wrong info sometimes and when they do, the innocent victims suffers.

Luckily no Camera was present. If it were, maybe a few flash grenades would have went off. They would have probably kicked the door instead of knocking for "entertainment purposes", etc etc.

But in this girl's case. I'm glad the camera was present. As it CAUGHT the police LYING.

LifeinOH said...


I get it! The fault lies anywhere except with the film crew/A&E. They were just doing their jobs - altering reality (by simply being there) for reality TV.

Makes sooooo much sense.

LifeinOH said...

Itsa - well said. Thanks for being so rational and succinct.

IATK said...

My heartfelt condolences go out to little Aiyana and her family. No family should be subject to such a terrible tragedy and this very preventable loss.


JJ, no doubt it's great to have the proof of just what went down so there's no big cover-up. And how awful what happened to your mother. I'm afraid there are more stories out there like this than we want to admit. That said, I think the "what if's" questions will always creep in based on the circumstances of this situation and it's, what if there had been no cameras...would the cops have acted differently and would this little girl still be alive today? It's definitely a tough, if not impossible question to answer. If, like Kelly said, this type of action is not SOP, why was it handled this way? I'm sure there will be an in-depth investigation looking for the exact answer to this question.

jibberjabbers said...

That's a good point. Maybe if there were no camera crew, this wouldn't have happened.


But in my case, the detectives joining the police did have a camera to record everything. And that was used against them when I made my complaint about the mess they created.

So maybe, a camera crew from a network should not film the event for "entertainment"..

But the police or detective in the case should carry a camera to record what happens..

IDModo said...

jibberjabbers, I didn't think you made it up, i thought you were mistaken. It was I who was mistaken. Sorry. I know that getting the wrong house is not unheard of in police work, and I'm sorry it happened to you and your mom too.

IATK said...

IDModo, many years ago as a young mother I also had a detective knocking on my door. With a baby on one hip and two toddlers crawling around on the floor behind me, I answered the door to an inquisition that was just a bit frightening. He wanted to know if so-and-so lived at this address, a name I had never heard before. I answered no, but he continued to ask more questions as he looked past me into the living/dining room to see what he could see. He had the correct address, but obviously someone had either lied or he had the wrong information on his warrant. Fortunately, he believed me (I thought) and after a few minutes and turned and left. I thought it was over until I walked to the back of the house and saw another detective sitting in the alley behind our house just watching the back door. He remained there for a good half hour until he finally drove away. Even though I knew they had the wrong house, I felt kind of creepy wondering if they would be back, what did they want, and what would they do. Luckily that didn't happen.

IDModo said...

I've had it happen to me too, itsaboutthekids, when I lived on the ground floor of a triplex.There was a drug dealer and petty thief who lived on the third floor, and when I suggested to the detectives that they should look upstairs,they didn't bother to climb the three flights up on the fire escape (the only way in) but stood on my porch looking in ny front window, and in my backyard, for about an hour. Later when the same dealer broke into our house and stole our stereo, and we saw him carrying it upstairs, we called the police and they refused to investigate, saying they can't just accuse somebody on the complaint of a neighbour. This was at least thirty years ago and I know that our police department has undergone some major changes since then, but I still remember the fear I felt seeing those two enormous guys in suits looking in my window.
I wish I had had a camera of my own at the time, so maybe a photographic record is a good thing, but not for entertainment purposes.

IATK said...

cherier1 said...
Itsa - well said.
Tx. :)

jibberjabbers said...

But in my case, the detectives joining the police did have a camera to record everything. And that was used against them when I made my complaint about the mess they created.

This makes an excellent case for requiring some sort of recording of events for the protection of both parties. I'm glad you had this evidence and were able to provide proof. I hope it all turned out okay for you and your mom.

IDModo said...
I've had it happen to me too,

It's a very eerie feeling, isn't it? Even this minor encounter left me feeling vulnerable for some time after.

Kimmie said...

TheresaB: I am also a cop, current not ex, so I might know more.

kimmie said...

hey now. i am kimmie and that is not me posting saying i am a current cop so i may know more. (at 6:24).

anyway, i think this kind of tragedy happens all the time when there are no film crews around. my point is that the filming crews were not to blame for this tragedy.

police are trained and that training would certainly hold them to a certain standard of action...i can see them not being as brazen trying to protect the film crews rather than doing something wrong (and on film!).

my sister is a cop and my brother-in-law is a state police investigator. i do know a little bit about procedure as we do talk about things like this with them.

not saying i am better informed than a cop...but it is my opinion that not any one person, be they cop or not, knows everything.

and cherier1, no need to be snarky. my opinion differs from yours. i happen to think the *blame* lies in lots of directions but not the filming crew.

Realitytvkids.com ~ Administrator said...

Kimmie, I disagree this kind of tragedy happens all the time. Please point me to another time that the police threw a grenade into a house, or their weapon misfired, and a 7 year old was killed. That's why this is such big news because usually cops don't kill KIDS when they're trying to make an arrest. This tragedy does not happen all the time (fortunatly).

Again, there is no way of really knowing if the cameras made the cops more brazen. We can't know! But why take a chance? And do you think dangerous police work is here for our entertainment? That this is okay to watch for fun? Even if a kid dies.

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