Essay on “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones” by Charlie LeDuff

A seven-year girl was sleeping carelessly on the couch, while her grandmother was watching television, and television was watching them ”“ states Charlie LeDuff in his article about the homicide of a small girl by a reckless policeman. Should the death of an innocent girl go unnoticed? Nowadays there are more and more cases of unintentional murder of common people, and many of them go unnoticed. This case could not possibly avoid publicity due to its serious consequences. The following article analyzes the topic of Aiyana Stanley-Jones’s unintentional murder. It aims at answering the question how the police could be so reckless as to kill an innocent girl in the middle of the night, when common people stay at home and have a rest without any fear to be offended by anyone, especially policemen, as they are supposed to protect people in the first place.

The author of “What Killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones” Charlie LeDuff begins with a brief overview of the surroundings in Detroit, where the homicide took place. He gives details of the way streets look like at night, and gives a captivating detail of girl’s father suffering from insomnia. He then describes the homicide of Aiyana itself, providing a summary of what has happened in the girl’s house, and giving details about the reasons and consequences of the homicide. He indicates that one of the policemen who took part in the show “The First 48” and persecuted a murderer misunderstood the directions of the nearby shop assistant and went to a wrong house. One of the policemen threw a grenade into the house, which burned the blanket of a small girl. After that the police entered the house and accidentally shot the girl.

The fact that the grandmother of the girl was trying to prevent the police from entering her house still remains under discussion, as according to the author of the article she was sitting on a coach near Aiyana. The author also asks why the police couldn’t just wait till morning and capture the criminal in some nearby area. Why did they enter the house in the first place being dead sure that the offender is inside? He was inside, but upstairs, and he was soon captured. But the fact that the small girl has been murdered must not be forgotten.

The article ends with author’s personal memories about Detroit. He gives details about the statistics of murder in Detroit in the past and present times. He also tells a heart-piercing story of his own life in Detroit, the way he witnessed a murder still being a boy. And even after moving to Michigan together with his family, he keeps remembering the details of that murder each time he hears some news of new homicides in Detroit. The author indicates that Detroit has changed in due course. It became a historic and symbolic city. But the truth remains. Detroit is a city of unpunished violence. This is proved by the fact that there are over 10,000 unsolved murders in Detroit since the 60s. Every year over 350 people get murdered in Detroit, and this statistics might as well be incomplete.

The question remains: what were the reasons of Aiyana Stanley-Jones’s murder? Some people might say that the police got overexcited about the show they participated. But how could the police let such things happen just because they thought they were superstars? One of the facts that might answer these questions is that the police were reckless and couldn’t predict the consequences. It does not justify them in any way, but may somehow help to get a full picture of the murder.

A good thing about this article is that it is very emotional, and makes readers think over the accident that happened in Detroit. The author does not only give details about the murder itself, but also gives his own opinion of the accident, providing a short summary of his own life in Detroit. The accident that happened to him in the past shows the extent of murders in the city.

Another good thing that demonstrates the skill of the author is that he keeps his readers in tension till the very end. The article is written in an easy style, but its content is in no way easy. The author provides opinions of many people in regard to the murder of an innocent seven-year old girl. Thus, he states that according to one of the police officials, the policeman who murdered the girl just got too excited and went Hollywood. The police official also states that he would never use a grenade in such a case. Charlie LeDuff gives various opinions about what has happened to Aiyana Stanley-Jones, which shows his involvement and interest to the topic described.

The feeling of involvement is another good thing about the article. LeDuff’s writing gives his readers a feeling that the author is not indifferent to the events described. There are no poorly written or poorly described things in the article. It is a masterfully written piece of work.

In conclusion, Aiyana’s death arouse great concern of the officials in regard to the practicability and appropriateness of the means that the police use in the attempt to capture criminals. It raises a question: is there some way to make police be more cautious when persecuting criminals, or will common people keep suffering from recklessness of the police? The answer to this question is still under discussion.


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