Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Joseph Weekley: Self-Pitying Stormtrooper

“It was my gun that shot and killed a 7-year-old girl,” insists Detroit resident Joseph Weekley, who took part in a fatal home invasion on May 17, 2010. This apparent admission is actually an evasion, in that it assigns blame to an inanimate instrument, rather than the individual who wielded it. Weekley also insists that he didn’t intend to pull the trigger, and has no knowledge of doing so, and that he didn’t realize the child was dead until he heard a “high-pitched moan” coming from beneath a pile of clothes. 

The only other eyewitness to the killing of Aiyana Stanley-Jones is Mertila Jones, the slain child’s grandmother. Weekley has claimed that Jones was to blame for the killing of her granddaughter, because the woman supposedly tried to swipe the MP-5 sub-machine gun from the hands of the assailant who had just burst into her home at midnight. That claim was contradicted by fellow home invader Shawn Stallard, who was right behind Weekley when the shooting took place and didn’t see a struggle between Weekley and Jones. 

Weekley has also said that he initially thought that the shot had been fired by one of his comrades. Oh, sure, he grudgingly admits, it may have been his finger that pulled the trigger -- but someone or something else is at fault. In any case, he insists that he’s not to blame – that despite the fact that Aiyana was left to die in a pool of blood, that he, the shooter, is the real victim.

“I just feel devastated and just depressed,” Weekley sobbed from the witness stand during his involuntary manslaughter trial. “Every day this replays in my head. There’s nothing else I could have done differently.”

If it weren’t for the fact that Weekley’s home invasion crew bore the insignia of the criminal syndicate claiming a monopoly on the legitimate use of force within Detroit, he would have quickly been found guilty. In fact, he most likely would have faced a charge of aggravated murder, rather than involuntary manslaughter. 

The trial ended in a hung jury – not because the facts were in serious dispute, but because Weekley belongs to that sanctified caste that exercises the state-conferred power of discretionary killing. He was, and remains, a member of the Detroit Police Department’s Special Reaction Team (SRT), which staged – I’m using the word in its theatrical sense – a midnight raid on the home where Aiyana was sleeping. 

The police were searching for a man named Chauncey Owens who was a suspect in a murder two days prior to the raid. They knew where the suspect could be found and had the advantage of time and superior numbers. If they had been peace officers, they would have staked out the home and waited for the suspect to emerge, then taken him into custody in a relatively low-key conventional arrest. But this wouldn’t have done anything to boost the Department’s “Q” rating.

Although the midnight raid served no legitimate law enforcement purpose, it would have made for exceptional “reality” television. Embedded with Weekley and his comrades on that evening was a camera crew from a cable TV program called “The First 48” – which meant that PR, rather than public safety, was the defining priority of the mission. 

This fact simply cannot be over-emphasized: The point of his mission was not to arrest a murder suspect; it was to turn that arrest into a propaganda film. Weekley, a veteran of more than one hundred previous raids, was already a featured performer in the agitprop series “Detroit SWAT,” which might explain why he was given the lead role in the May 17, 2010 production. That description is not an exercise in snarkiness: The A&E Network's guide to that program lists Weekley as an "actor" and a "cast member."

Neighbors who saw the Berserkers assemble outside the home warned that there were children inside. The presence of toys scattered in the front yard should have made that fact obvious enough that a cop could understand it, especially in light of the fact that several testified that they had scoped out the house repeatedly in the hours prior to the operation. 

 Even if the yard had been barren of evidence that children lived inside the home, rational people would have understood that a full-force raid was both unnecessary and needlessly dangerous to anyone who resided therein. But anything less than a Fallujah-style "dynamic entry" would have meant missing an agitprop opportunity, and left the jacked-up adolescents in paramilitary gear with an unbearable case of blue balls. So Weekly and his fellow sociopaths attacked the living room where Aiyana was sleeping by flinging a flash-bang grenade through a closed window, kicking down the door, and storming in with guns drawn. 

A few months after Weekley killed Aiyana, the officer’s taxpayer-funded defense team sketched out a legal strategy in which the girl’s family was to blame for her death. Weekley’s attorney filed a “Notice of Non-Party Fault” claiming, without providing evidence, that family members were involved in “drug dealing, vehicle theft and illegal utility hook-ups,” and that Aiyana’s grandmother was at fault for the child’s death because she “interfered in the execution of the search by unlawfully touching the defendant and causing his weapon to accidentally discharge.” 

The same strategy was followed during the trial: More attention was focused on perceived contradictions in Jones’s account, and on her supposedly irresponsible statement that the police “came to kill” the night of the raid. 

We are invited to believe that the anguished reaction of a traumatized grandmother to the needless death of her seven-year-old granddaughter is a more significant outrage than the act of carrying a paramilitary midnight raid on a residence for the benefit of television cameras. 

The Detroit Police Department’s institutional reaction to the killing of Aiyana brings to mind the behavior of U.S. helicopter pilots involved in the massacre documented in the notorious “Collateral Murder” video. After two helicopter gunship crews annihilated more than a dozen unarmed Iraqis, troops on the ground reported that two children had been injured in the attack.

“Well, it’s their fault for bring their kids into a battle,” sneered one of the assailants.

For those who belong to the state-privileged criminal fraternity that includes Weekly, “officer safety” is at all times and in all places the highest and most important consideration. The same limitless self-preoccupation that typifies the state’s enforcement caste is also manifest in an acute sense of self-pity on the part of police officers who murder innocent people. 

During his testimony, Weekly invited the public to pity him.

“I’ll never be the same,” blubbered Aiyana’s killer, who recalled playing at the park with his daughters before being called to play a part in the paramilitary assault that led to the state-sanctioned murder of someone else’s 7-year-old child. 

The human type Weekly represents was described very well by Hannah Arendt in her book Eichmann in Jerusalem. Referring to members of the Nazi regime’s “special action squads” – which they called Einsatzgruppen, and we call SWAT teams, or SRTs – Arendt noted that the problem they faced was “how to overcome not so much their conscience as the animal pity by which all normal men are affected in the presence of physical suffering. The trick used by Himmler — who apparently was rather strongly afflicted by these instinctive reactions himself — was very simple and probably very effective; it consisted in turning these instincts around, as it were, in directing them toward the self. So that instead of saying: What horrible things I did to people!, the murderers would be able to say: What horrible things I had to watch in the pursuance of my duties, how heavily the task weighed upon my shoulders!" 

Weekley is a museum-quality specimen of the self-pitying Stormtrooper – and the jurors who were willing to let him escape mortal accountability for his crime would likely have done the same for Weekley’s German antecedents in the 1930s. 

Dum spiro, pugno!


Anonymous said...

He's 5'3" - what a short little thug!

willb said...

Judges who turn these dogs loose on sleeping families are equally
to blame for the atrocities that inevitably ensue.

Growing up watching Westerns I was taught that only savages
executed night-time sneak attacks. This excluded the Comanche
and was reserved only for Nazis.

"Shock-and-Awe" is a total-war battlefield tactic, not a domestic
police tactic. Are we at war with the Police? In the last moments
of her sweet young life, I'm sure Aiyana thought so.

kirk said...

the 'jurors' are like the 'citizens' which seem to be in the majority today...accept anything/everything the state says/does/wants.

the state in which we find ourselves is because we accept the unacceptable. as is always the case, accepting the unacceptable only serves to accentuate and increase the unacceptable.

it is beyond time to separate this nation into two entities, one as is presently constructed for those who worship at the altar of power, the other for those of us who will not bow.

Anonymous said...

Ol' Heinrich threw up at the machine gun ditch so they worked on the mobile gas vans using the mentally ill or disabled and softened up the general population with weekly newsreels depicting the killings as humane. The blackshirts over here won't have any reservations and will probably have notches on their weapon stocks. I thought the po leece were all super duper masters of firearms? Even a scrub beginner knows finger out of the triggerguard until it is time to shoot. An obscure SS tidbit regarding their army the Waffen-SS, when the Götz von Berlichingen division was accused of cowardice in 1945 and asked to turn in their unit armbands the commander sent back a severed arm from a dead soldier in a bucket.

Anonymous said...

Grigg, why don't you write this to Josef Weakly?


Anonymous said...

The main difference between the Waffen SS and pussies like this blubbering coward is that they weren't hypocrites about they did.
The Waffen SS were indeed murderers, but when the chips were down they actually had the cojones to engage a worthy opponent. This weeping douchebag doesn't have the warrior spirit to engage anything more dangerous than a child hiding under a pile of laundry and her grandmother. He would undoubtedly experience projectile diahrrea upon engaging a competent and well armed adversary. Oh, well, as long as his duties don't encompass anything more dangerous than murdering small children while blaming her grandmother and blasting peoples' dogs as they raid the wrong addresses he will continue to have a long and distinguished career. Heinrich would be proud of him.

Rich said...

Poor, poor, Joseph Weekley says he will 'never be the same'. I hope it grates on him for the rest of his miserable life, until, one day he finally finds the courage he never had, puts his service weapon in his mouth, and pulls the trigger.

Gil said...

By Libertarian reckoning, the jury failed the victims not the State per se since the officer was charged. The hatred Libertarians feel should be towards the jurors who held out because they thought it was an accident.

Luton Ian said...

Just for info
git, who comments above;

has spent the past several years, working hard to come up with twisted and confused trolling, on Mises daily, and apparently on Cafe Hayek too.

In those years, despite being offered numerous leads for background reading, it has singularly failed to advance its knowledge or understanding of libertarian ideas or of human action, to any discernible degree.

Please do not waste either time or bandwidth arguing with it, its entire purpose appears to be to cause aggravation and annoyance.

In many ways it reminds me of a self destructive child which attended the same school as I did.

It would purposely aggravate those most likely to bully it, and any who attempted to be nice to it were rewarded by it smashing up their stuff when their backs were turned.

It was small, very skinny band with a disproportionately big head. following being expelled from school - it's legal guardians (its grandparents) couldn't cope and the character ended up in Edinburgh - small, gay, very self destructive and into drugs - at the time that Edinburgh was the AIDS capital of Europe.

I suspect that it became another one of the 1980s AIDS statistics.

Git's commenting behaviour reminds me of it.

MamaLiberty said...

I'm so sick of the "wrong address" thing. This murder, and all the jack booted actions like it, should be no more tolerable if done at the "right" address, regardless of the real or imagined "crime" involved.

There is simply no excuse for any armed invasion, much less with fingers on the triggers.

Anonymous said...

Today marks two weeks that I buried a friend who was at the age of 31 years old. He did 4 tours of combat that haunted him where he was very scared to go to sleep at night because he was going to dream. He took his own life, on Veterans Day in the evening. He left behind, three young sons that he loved. The pain that he suffered was torture that made it impossible for him to move forward. Sleeping and having the past come back in dream form is costing 22 Vets so much pain they take their own lives every day in America.
All being said, I can't help wondering if the police are having any kind of problems with what they do and having nightmares over their own personal conduct. Just a thought of wondering.

Anonymous said...

Queue those enlightened citizens who seem to believe that there is no depth of depraved behavior our badge emblazoned heroes engage in that is not justified because their victims MUST have been doing something wrong or SHOULD have known better than to disobey ... even to gunning down family pets in the streets. Even though the LA police spokeshero stated that the true intent in the dog murder was to protect the owner from his own pet.

They think we are stupid because ... 1 - many of us are .... and 2 - we do NOTHING. Baaaaahhh

Anonymous said...

worthy should prosecute Martila Jones and the rest of that messed up family , who are nothing more then a gang a street criminals. that family of trash harbored a wanted criminal and allowed criminal activity in the house. they put that child in harms way and they are to blame not the police. they are all liars and only care about the 6 million dollar suit. it is sad the child is dead but blame the family that was supposed to protect her well being.

Anonymous said...

Lol.. Wow.. Majority of you sound like dumb fucks.. One person says if this cop went up against worthy armed adversary?? Guy does it all the time.. He's srt. Raiding dope houses n serving murder warrents.. None of you mention jerean Blake , the young black kid killed by aiyana Jones uncle chauncy who got gun and was driven to murder Blake from aiyanas father, oh yeah, both convicted last week of murder.. Grandmother changed her story THREE times.. This cop leaves in morning, kisses his kids goodbye, not knowing if he will see them again, as he hunts down the worse of the worse for nothing.. Shitty pay.. Trying to just make a difference.. Check out all this cop has done for the cities youth prior to this incident, he just always wanted to help.. Unfortunately Detroit shitty as hell.. Why these murderers in house with lil girl?? Why grandma allowing it and why she disobeying n fighting with police ??? You people need to know the facts and get a clue!! Dude killed child and has to live with it, I'd be sobbing too if I killed a child. But wouldn't think twice or care if it were one of you big talking internet tough gangster bitches!!
Tony D

William N. Grigg said...

First of all, SRT, like other tactical teams, does not exchange fire with suspects who can shoot back. They give such people a generous berth, while specializing in no-knock raids of the kind that resulted in the murder of Aiyana Stanley-Jones.

Secondly, the suspect was living in a separate dwelling from the one in which the murder of Aiyana took place.

Third, apart from the fact that SRT wanted to pose and preen for television cameras, there was no reason to carry out a midnight no-knock raid. They could, and should, have set up a perimeter and then arrested the suspect outside the house with minimal chance of injury or death to innocent people. That approach isn't optional; it's mandatory.

Fourth, are we to assume that Weekley's supposed humanitarianism prior to murdering Aiyana in some way mitigates his criminal act in killing that child? Do police have punch cards of some kind tabulating charitable acts -- and that, once they're filled, give them an entitlement to kill a small black child of their choice?

Fifth, there is no evidence that the grandmother was "fighting" with the police, but if she did, God bless her. Armed strangers who fire grenades into your home and invade it without warning aren't peace officers and shouldn't be treated as such.

Sixth, Weekley is a police officer, which is among the safest occupations in society. If he were a long-haul trucker, a farmer, a commercial fisherman, or a logger, he would actually face significant job-related risks. If you're content to retail Spelling/Goldberg-worthy melodramatic dreck about the dangers of police "work," you have nothing of value to contribute to this discussion. Then again, that much was obvious from your sub-adolescent diction and immediate resort to vulgarity.

Anonymous said...

Well said.