There isn’t much I can say about this, really. It’s just too terrible to comprehend. Part of me would like to think this was an isolated incident, but I know it’s not. Police violence is a reality, especially for oppressed groups.
I’ve been trying to find the words for this all day, but I just can’t.
Rest in peace, Aiyana.
Adrienne Maree Brown writes:
there is no justice. not for aiyana stanley jones.
there is punishment, and perhaps accountability. someone to point towards, many people, a trail of blame, stories, mistakes and tears.
but there is no justice.
i’m just home from a vigil for aiyana. i don’t like to go to these things because they make me feel too raw and hopeless. my partner, however, knew that we had to go and make sure aiyana’s story was told. so here it is: she was alive yesterday, 7 years old. she went to bed on a couch in a first floor room with her grandmother last night. in the wee hours of the morning, cops raided her house. a man outside the house shouted that there were kids inside. a man on the second floor of the house was a suspect in the murder of a 17-year-old last Friday.
the police threw a “flash bang” through the front window. it blinded everyone inside; it lit aiyana on fire.
the news reported a tussle with the grandmother, during which the firearm discharged. everyone in the family says there was no tussle, that the grandmother was throwing herself over the baby when aiyana was shot in the head.
what do you call the blinded, terrified groping of a grandmother who knows her grandchildren are in the room, blasted from safety and sleep into chaos and danger, whose granddaughter is on fire? how do you comfort a man like aiyana’s father, which was forced to lie face down in his daughter’s blood by the same police officers who killed her?
the police shot and killed aiyana. they shot her in the forehead. her family saw her brain on the couch. by accident, perhaps. which doesn’t even matter to a 7-year-old. you don’t get let off any hooks for your intentions in this case, officer.