Mistrial declared in Detroit cop's trial over shooting of child

Reuters News
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Posted: Oct 10, 2014 2:28 PM

By Aaron Foley

DETROIT (Reuters) - A judge on Friday declared a second mistrial after a jury was unable to reach a verdict in the trial of a Detroit police officer who fatally shot a sleeping girl during a police raid in 2010.

Wayne County Circuit Court Judge Cynthia Gray Hathaway declared a mistrial in the case of officer Joseph Weekley, who faced a charge of reckless discharge of a firearm in the death of Aiyana Stanley-Jones. A previous trial also ended in a mistrial.

Weekley's retrial in the shooting case came up as the shooting of an unarmed black teenager by a white officer in the St. Louis suburb of Ferguson, Missouri, led to weeks of protests, some violent and inflamed a national discussion over police use of force.

Weekley also had been charged with involuntary manslaughter in the shooting, a charge that the judge tossed out before closing arguments.

Detroit police were searching for a suspect in a fatal shooting when they stormed a building where the girl was sleeping. The suspect was apprehended and later sentenced to life in prison. Aiyana's father, Charles Jones, was convicted of providing him the murder weapon.

(Reporting by Aaron Foley in Detroit)