All in the Family featured the curmudgeonly Archie Bunker. Archie was television’s most famous grouch, blunt, blustering, straightforward and untouched by the PC crowd. He was the archetype of the conservative male. Michael desprately tried to reeducate him, but he persisted in his breviloquence.

Looking back at the last 40 years, we realize: ARCHIE WAS RIGHT!


Qualified Immunity

Aiyana Stanley-Jones would have turned eleven years old this year.  Would have.  The Detroit police department shot her in the head during an illegal no-knock raid of her home.  I'm filled with rage, indignation, and sorrow over what happened.  It's not hard to see why blacks don't like white cops.  A couple of facts I'd like to highlight about the situation.
  • The police only obtained a warrant for Aiyana's home after they shot her in the head.
  • The police were serving a warrant on a duplex.
  • The police had a warrant for the unit next door.
  • The police brought along a camera crew who were shooting footage for a reality TV show.
  • The police officer who shot Aiyana had been involved in previous problematic excessive force situations prior to this one.
I suspect that the above facts were part of why Joseph Weekley was stripped of his qualified immunity and required to stand trial on charges related to his killing of a 7 year old girl. 

This is how it should have been.  I agree that Weekley should have to face a jury.  Which he has done, twice.  Each of the juries ended up deadlocked over his guilt.  As the case progressed through the system the more serious charges were either dropped or dismissed until this last time all he was facing was a charge of "careless or reckless firing of a weapon causing death".  He wasn't facing a murder or even a involuntary manslaughter charge.  The jury still couldn't agree that he had done that.

Everything Weekley has said about the situation has proven to be a lie.  Grandma didn't grab his gun.  The forensic tests prove her finger prints weren't on the weapon and the gunpowder residue tests show that her arm wasn't near the barrel.  The only person whose finger was on the trigger was Weekley.  The only person who shot the gun that killed a little girl as she was sleeping was, Weekley.

To some extent the system worked.  It's too bad that system didn't protect Aiyana.  I think all good people grieve over that.  The fact is that Weekley got caught.  Weekely was charged with crimes and tried twice.  Two times the jury deadlocked.  The second time all they had to decide on was two facts:
  1. did someone die
  2. did Weekley pull the trigger
They couldn't figure it out.  How stupid is the Wayne county jury pool?

The people on that jury were the arbitrators of justice. Their job was to either acquit Weekley out right or condemn him for his crime.  Either way justice would be granted either in the form of vindication or vengeance. The jury failed to do its duty.


  1. Having had the experience of serving on a jury in an illegal poaching case, I can tell you that it isn't just the big cities that people suddenly get stupid when they serve.

    My experience was that everyone who was on the jury with me felt the serious responsibility of being the ones who were going to decide not only the defendant's future, but the future of his family as well. I don't know how to explain it Res, but when you are responsible for that kind of decision over a life, you get ridiculously cautious.

    But, like I reminded my fellow jurors, we just had to put aside our personal feelings and decide if the prosecutor made his case. Did the case fit the guidelines of the law which the defendant broke. When you focus like a laser on just the facts as they were put to you, you can muckle your way through it.

    But that feeling and the realization that hits you, well it is a very real thing. And it is the very best of the prosecutors that take that into account when they are putting the case together.

    Would I serve again? Sure. It was an education, that was for sure.

  2. I forgot to say that maybe if there was some kind of disciplinary action for these kinds of stupid mistakes, like warrant typos and/or hitting the wrong address, we might not be reading so many of these awful stories.

    If that officer ever qualifies to be employed by a PD again, he needs to be put on a national blacklist of officers who would be nothing but a hot toxic mess for whatever department hired him.

    I don't usually give credulity to the subject of haunting, but I hope this guy is haunted by that little girl every night of the rest of his life.

  3. Susan,

    If he is cleared of the charges then the dept will look at internal discipline. The dept won't say what they will do to a cop until the court case is finalized. Which even though that sounds like BS, is fair. The cop still has rights and an internal discipline process would unfairly jeopardize the legal proceedings. I think the fact that he was allowed to go to trial is pretty good evidence that the department knows it was a bad raid, and at least bad gun handling and possibly criminal behavior.

  4. Res

    There is something about police and juries I don't understand. The jury thinks when a policman says something it is if spoken from God himself. When I was on trial for a DUI the cop lied multiple times. I know this for a fact because I was there. He lied under oath 4 times I remember, he lied on his police report, he was caught in one lie by evidence I had produced to my lawyer. Incontrovertible evidence.

    It didn't matter the Jury didn't care even after we proved him to be a liar and a purjur.

    Everybody always remember the cop has as much reason to lie under oath as the defendant. I weigh the cops testimony with same weight as the accused testimony. Independent witnesses with no skin in the game are the ones to weight heavily, not the cop.

  5. The cop lied in pre trial so I was ready and went out a sought the evidence for the trial to show this guy wqs lying his ass off. I did and gave it too my lawyer. The cop was visibly shaken when he was caught and during a break he was over at the prosecutor with the most scared look on his face and the prosecutor was talking to him patting him on the shoulder and I read his lips saying "it will be ok, It will be OK" In other words the persecutor wasn't going to pursue perjury against him. and I was convicted.

  6. Susan1:54 PM

    I actually wasn't thinking of that area of internal discipline for the actions of the cop.

    I actually was thinking more of discipline or some kind of mark in the personnel file of the person who totally blew the preparation of the paperwork that led to the final mistake.

    Making basic paperwork errors that turn into tragedies like this little girl's shooting need to stop. Clerks and cops are dealing with people's lives here, no excuses for errors to hide behind should ever be allowed.

    OTOH, if the informant gives the cops the wrong address for some reason, that informant needs to have the book thrown at them. Too many of them I suspect give the PD's deliberately wrong information for whatever motives they might have.

  7. Outlaw,

    I think I would have went after the attorneys bar card. What happened should have earned you a dismissal of charges. Did your lawyer move to dismiss?

  8. Two times, but he said the cop would have just said he recalled wrong. It is almost impossible to get a cop for perjury. The Judge works closely with the prosecutor in small communities because come election time his opponent will say he soft on crime. Judges like prosecutors want a perfect conviction record, they are not independent like they are supposed to be because they want to be re-elected and the electorate is mal-educated..

  9. Anonymous10:25 AM

    Half the time in a small town the judge and attorneys are good friends and also great acquaintances with the police. They work together on at least a weekly basis and know how everything will most likely proceed.

    You're just supposed to be an intimidated piece in a specialized formal process, whichever role you've been brought in (jury, witness, defendant, etc.).

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