Aiyana Jones killing turns spotlight on a nation hooked on reality TV

Aiyana Jones
Aiyana Jones

originally published by: Times Online
22nd May 2010

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When police scooped up the limp body of Aiyana Jones last Sunday night they promised her father that she would be all right. They were wrong. She was pronounced dead on arrival at hospital, the victim of a police Swat team being filmed for a reality TV show.

Miss Jones went to sleep for the last time under the front window of her parents’ flat on Detroit’s violent and impoverished east side. A police bullet killed her later that night. The porch outside is now festooned with flowers, teddy bears and “you will be missed” balloons.

Her body went on display yesterday at a nearby funeral parlour. She will be eulogised at her funeral today by the Rev Al Sharpton, with the Rev Jesse Jackson in attendance — figures from an era of racial politics that millions of Americans hoped to consign to history two years ago by voting for Barack Obama.

Six days after police burst into the Jones’s flat — the wrong flat — Miss Jones’s death has acquired the dimensions of a national scandal. Black leaders in Washington have demanded a federal investigation into the use of paramilitary police units in poor neighbourhoods.

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