DETROIT, -- The following is an official press statement from the Detroit Branch NAACP:
The recent shooting of young Ms. Aiyana Jones while she slept in her living room early Sunday morning is another heartbreak to the entire community.
This recent tragedy impacts both the citizens of this community and the Detroit Police Department. Our prayers and our thoughts go to the family of Aiyana Jones. Words are empty and most inadequate to respond to such a tragedy as this. Yet, our response to it must be adequate and appropriate for all those concerned.
Let us be very clear, we support and understand the very critical responsibility that the Detroit Police Department has in the city of Detroit. This is a very critical time in the life of our city. While we support the men and women of the Detroit Police Department, we do not support inappropriate or unprofessional behavior. While this investigation is proceeding with regards to the cause behind the death of young Aiyana Jones, we call for cool heads, professional actions and mature leadership. Our concern for the citizens of Detroit in this very critical hour lies in the fact that there must be a mutual respect in the relationship between the citizens and our police department. The recent shooting of Officer Brian Huff serves as a marker by which the police have a very dangerous and high risk job. Yet, at the same time, a heightened response to criminal activity and a more aggressive approach into the homes of Detroit citizens must be measured, sensitive, and professional. The death of Ms. Jones raises several questions:
Were proper search and seizure policies followed?
Was there an overreaction on the part of the Police Department?
Was there any situation that created a life threatening danger to police as they searched the residence on Lillibridge?
Did police officers ignore the stated alert that there were children in the home who might be at risk?
What are the current instructions being given to Detroit police officers in terms of their conduct on the streets of Detroit in dealing with citizens in our community?
These are but a few questions that need to be asked and answered. Further, in order to maintain, and in some cases restore the confidence of the citizens of Detroit in their police department, it is important that a sincere and independent investigation of this matter be conducted. We support the call for the Michigan State Police to conduct a very thorough investigation of this matter.
Finally, this raises a serious question as to the viability and the practicality of granting police officers the legal right to moonlight and to work after hours on other jobs. If current conditions in Detroit are leading to an increase in stress as well as frustration on the part of some officers, we do not believe that adding further pressure on police officers will serve in a very positive way the citizens of Detroit. We look forward to discussing these issues with the appropriate leadership.
Our prayers continue to be with both the men and women of the Detroit Police Department and the citizens in this community. We are all in this together.
SOURCE Detroit Branch NAACP