Nearly nine years since 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones was shot and killed in a police raid gone wrong, the family of the young girl settled with the city of Detroit for $8.25 million on Thursday. The agreement comes days before the civil trial was set to begin in Wayne County Circuit Court.
“Aiyana’s death was a tragic loss for her family and has been a heavy burden on our community. We believe today’s settlement is fair because it balances the needs of Aiyana’s family and our responsibility for the city’s finances. We hope this resolution will provide everyone involved a measure of closure,” City of Detroit Corporation Counsel Lawrence Garcia said in a statement.
Aiyana was killed by police officer Joseph Weekley in the early hours of Sunday, May 16, 2010. Law enforcement said they entered the home she was living in to apprehend a suspect in the murder of 17-year-old Je’Rean Blake, who lost his life days earlier outside of a convenience store. The Special Response Team led by Weekley was accompanied by a film crew for the show The First 48.
Conflicting accounts of the raid led to a lengthy investigation and two mistrials in the case of Aiyana’s killer. Eventually, the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office dismissed the remaining misdemeanor charges against Weekley, and he was allowed to return to the force in 2015.
Family attorney, Geoffrey Fieger, told reporters on Thursday that the settlement should help the family move on, but that a loss of a child is a “wound that never heals.” “(The final settlement) won’t provide full justice. The only full justice would be to bring Aiyana back and I can’t do that,” said Fieger.
The family is not commenting on the settlement at this time.