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SWAT team leader who fatally shot 7-year-old during reality show filming gets job back

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Five years after shooting a seven-year-old girl to death while on duty, Joseph Weekley has rejoined the Detroit police.

While filming with an A&E crew in 2010, Officer Joseph Weekley led a SWAT team of officers into a Detroit residence in search of a murder suspect. The cable network wanted footage for its homicide detective show, “The First 48.”

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Officers announced their arrival by detonating a flashbang grenade. Weekley entered the home with an MP-5 submachine gun. Then he shot and killed Aiyana Stanley-Jones, a child sleeping in the living room with her grandmother under a “Hannah Montana” blanket.

According to Weekley, however, he didn’t realize he had fired the gun that ended Stanley-Jones’ life. Weekley left Stanley-Jones’ body in pursuit of a housemate he believed to be responsible for the killing. The housemate was in an adjacent room, and unarmed.

Weekley explains he was able to shoot and kill a child without noticing it by blaming Stanley-Jones’ grandmother, Mertilla Jones. Weekley believes Jones slapped his submachine while he was in the house, causing it to fire and kill her granddaughter.

Despite charges from the Wayne County Prosecutor, Weekley avoided criminal penalties for manslaughter and reckless endangerment in two mistrials – one in 2013 and one in 2014. Before his second mistrial, Weekley released a statement conveying something akin to remorse. “No matter the outcome of any jury’s decision,” Weekley wrote, “I have already been devastated and my life has been ruined irreparably by the events that occurred on May 16, 2010. There has not been one single day that has gone by since that day where I have not thought about the loss of Aiyana and I will be haunted by this tragedy for the rest of my life.”

The Wayne County Prosecutor declined to try Weekley a third time on charges related to the killing of Aiyana Stanley-Jones. The deceased child’s family filed a wrongful death against suit against Weekley, one of his colleagues, the Detroit Police Department, and the City of Detroit on April 1, 2015.

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On April 2, 2015, Weekley resumed a position with the Detroit police force. The Detroit Police Chief told George Hunter of the Detroit News that Weekley will be serving in a “limited duty capacity” and not “in the field.”


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2020 Election

Trump advisors futilely trying to get him to stop ranting about statues as his re-election prospects collapse: report

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According to a report focusing on Donald Trump's rally at Mt. Rushmore on the evening before the 4th of July, advisors to the president ate attempting to get him to start focusing on bread and butter issues that will get him re-elected instead of harping on statues being pulled down by protesters across the country.

As the Daily Beast report illustrates, their efforts appear to be futile based upon his Friday night speech.

With the president trying to fire up the crowd by insisting, “Angry mobs are trying to tear down statues of our founders. They think the American people are weak, and soft, and submissive,” the Beast reported that Trump, "decided to focus heavily Friday evening on protesters and Black Lives Matter activists who want various American monuments, including those honoring Confederate, white-supremacist, and slave-owning figures of history, torn down and destroyed for good. "

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Trump’s a traitor — and the Russian bounty scandal is the final straw

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The first story of the rest of Donald Trump's life was published last Friday in the New York Times, revealing that the Russian intelligence agency known as the GRU has been paying bonuses to Taliban fighters to kill Americans, and that this intelligence had been reported to Trump and had been known at least since March. The story was subsequently confirmed by the Washington Post, the Wall Street Journal and the AP.

This article first appeared in Salon.

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2020 Election

GOP scrambling to pay for Jacksonville convention after Trump yanked it from North Carolina: report

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According to a report from the New York Times, Republican officials are having difficulties getting donors to pay for the Republican National Convention to be held in Jacksonville, Florida after Donald Trump yanked the gathering out of Charlotte, North Carolina in a fit of pique over COVID-19 health restrictions.

At issue, the report notes, is that millions of dollars were spent in North Carolina where a smaller event will now be held, and now the party is, in essence, forced to pay for a second convention.

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