Friday, December 31, 2010

More on Who Murdered Aiyana Stanley-Jones

A Response to Charlie Leduff's "What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?"

The article by Charlie Leduff ("What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones?" from Mother Jones magazine - Nov/Dec 2010) plays a good and important role.  It keeps the story of this foul crime alive and in the public eye.  Part of how the authorities are trying to cover up this murder is by ‘investigating” it till people forget or become fuzzy about some of the more gruesome details.  This article is also a comprehensive attempt to weigh the various things that factored into this murder.

But its very comprehensiveness leads it to end up in muddying the waters on just what and who is responsible for this little girl’s murder.  The answer to who or what killed Aiyana is both pretty simple and somewhat complex.  The simple answer is that a killer cop killed her--a cop who had demonstrated a disregard for the lives and humanity of Black children. A couple years earlier, he shot a dog that was in a room near a young child playing.  To be clear, the cop hadn’t been called to save the child from a dog that was threatening it.

This killer cop was part of the Detroit Police Department (DPD), which has a long, sordid history of inflicting brutality on that city’s Black population. Stolen Lives, a project of the Oct 22nd Coalition to Stop Police Brutality, has documented 42 cases of people killed in the 1990's by the DPD.  These are only the ones this grass roots coalition was able to find out about thru its own efforts because the DPD, like police depts. across the US, refuses to release information on people they kill.  Most of these 42 people were unarmed and doing nothing wrong when they were killed by cops.

The DPD’s attempt to cover up Aiyana’s murder is instructive.  They not only blamed her grandmother by saying the cop’s gun went off while she was struggling with him.  They took her into custody and tested her for gunpowder residue and for drugs to try to back up their lie.  Think about this.  They had just shot her grand baby to death before her eyes, and then they arrest her and try to blame her for it.

This cover up is being continued to this day by the Michigan state police and other officials in the area.  How long does it take to figure out that the cops broke into the wrong apartment that night?  (I have been to the house, and there are clearly 2 entrances, one to the upstairs apt where Chauncey Owens--the guy the cops had the warrant for -- lives. And the other to the downstairs apt where Aiyana and her family lived.)  A few days or even a few minutes should be enough to determine that.  Why hasn’t some government agency made this public.  Why hasn’t the video of the raid (Remember the A&E film crew was there recording the whole thing.) been released?  Why haven’t there been banner headlines in the Detroit Free Press (DFP) or lead stories on the local news shows to this effect?  Months after Aiyana’s death, most of the people writing in to the DFP’s online comments page about her killing still believed that Owens was captured in Aiyana’s family’s home that night! And the authorities want people to remain confused about these details so their role in this murder remains unclear.

And finally, the system of capitalism is responsible for this murder.  The DPD, just like police depts. nationwide, patrol the areas where Black people live like they have a green light to brutalize and murder people.  The very operation of this system drew large numbers of Black people into cities across the country to work at the bottom of the work force in the auto, steel and other plants.  These plants are largely closed down and/or moved half way around the world, leaving millions of Black people facing a situation of no jobs and a wrecked educational system.  In effect brutal, murdering cops are the front line enforcers for these miserable conditions.  (All this is gone into in more depth in issue #144 of Revolution newspaper, “The Oppression of Black People, The Crimes of This System and The Revolution We Need.”  This issue is available at

It is against this backdrop that we have to evaluate the report that there were stolen cars in Aiyana’s family’s back yard or questions of why her parents didn=t move away from the mean streets on the east side of Detroit.  Aiyana wasn’t killed because of poor life choices made by her parents.  And the end logic of even partly attributing her murder to what her parents did wrong leads to you joining the system=s blame the victim chorus.

Look at the big picture -- the capitalist/imperialist system is grinding away, crushing the spirits and breaking the bodies of countless numbers of people here in this country and around the world.  As this society wide meat grinder inflicts atrocities on the masses, we are invited to look at the life choices of Aiyana’s family.  Most of those killed by cops are Black or Latino males who are teen aged or older, and the system always spotlights their criminal records or immigration status or whatever else they can use to blame them for what happened to them.  Since Aiyana was only 7, in this case, the blame gets put onto her parents.  This is all a bunch of crap.

The system is responsible for Aiyana=s murder.  In particular, the killer cop should be prosecuted for his murderous deed, and the city and state officials who collaborated in the cover up should also be exposed and prosecuted.  I have traveled to Detroit and spoke and written as part of working to make this happen.

And overall, we in the Revolutionary Communist Party (RCP) are building a movement for revolution.  We are working to put revolution on the map in this country, let people know about the leader we have for this revolution in Bob Avakian, the head of the RCP and we are working to bring into being a core of people determined to make this revolution real.  And the RCP has released a Constitution for the Future Socialist Republic in North America which shows how a socialist society constructed after this capitalist set up was gotten rid of thru revolution would be organized and how it would work. (Again, you can get info on this or get connected with the movement for revolution by going to:

So that’s my thoughts on the police murder of Aiyana Stanley-Jones -- the system is responsible, and revolution is the solution.