DETROIT (CBS/AP) The family of 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones, who was killed during a Detroit police raid to find a murder suspect, has filed federal and state lawsuits against police, even as funeral arrangements for the child are being finalized.
The girl's family on Tuesday announced two lawsuits claiming officers violated Aiyana's constitutional rights. The family's lawyer, Geoffrey Fieger, says the child was shot in the neck and within seconds police carried out a little body that "looked like a ragdoll."
Fieger claims he has seen a video of police raiding the house on Sunday morning. He told CBS News' Crimesider, "What I'm most concerned about is that this videotape demonstrates that police are involved in a cover-up of a child's killing."
Fieger said he viewed three or four minutes of footage. He would not say who recorded the events, but a camera crew for the A&E reality series "The First 48" was filming the raid. Dan Silberman, a spokesman for A&E, declined to comment and denied a request by The Associated Press to view the footage.
Police have said an officer's gun accidentally went off inside the house after officers confronted or collided with the girl's grandmother. But Fieger said the videotape shows the shot was fired from the porch outside, after a flash-bang grenade was lobbed through a window.
When asked about the supposed altercation involving the grandmother, Fieger said, "That is a lie. The tape shows that claim was a total lie."
Fieger also told Crimesider police knew there were children in the house. Fieger said the girl's cousin, Mark Robinson, was outside walking the dog at the time and was tackled by police, who then stood on top of him while he desperately yelled that there were children in the house.
Police have apologized for Aiyana Jones' death and even offered the services of department chaplains to people in the community.
The family's federal lawsuit claims police violated Aiyana's constitutional rights and seeks an unspecified cash award of more than $75,000. A four-count lawsuit filed in county court seeks damages of more than $25,000. Those figures are preliminary, and the actual amounts the family seeks are likely to be much higher.
The Jones family has asked civil rights leader Al Sharpton to deliver the eulogy at the funeral this Saturday, at the Second Ebenezer Church in Detroit.MEDIA
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