Our Voice: Should Reality TV Camera Crews Film Live Home Raids?

Aiyana Jones of Detroit, who was 7 years old, was killed this past Sunday when the police were conducting a raid on her home.  During the raid, the crew of The First 48, a television reality show about cops, was filming the raid.

Some people are questioning whether the police would have used the same tactics during the raid if they were not being filmed.  Sources say that the police entered the home on a no-knock warrant, threw a flash-grenade into the house, and then burst through the door.  It is reported that simultaneously, a shot was fired that hit Aiyana in the neck and killed her.

The incident has some people wondering whether police act differently when they are being filmed.  An attorney for Aiyana’s family (who has now been replaced by Geoffrey Fieger) has blamed her death on the presence of the cameras.  She believes that if the crew had not been filming, the police would not have used a flash-grenade to enter the home where they knew children were residing, or would have entered with at least a little more care.

This raises the question: Would you do your job the same if you were being filmed for a reality T.V. show?

Should reality shows be allowed to follow and film police during live police raids and criminal events?  We would love to hear your thoughts on this subject!


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1 Comment

Filed under Murder, Our Voice - Op/Ed, Police Brutality, Uncategorized

One response to “Our Voice: Should Reality TV Camera Crews Film Live Home Raids?

  1. I found this article in the free press today and thought it was a good follow up!

    “Detroit Mayor Dave Bing is telling reality-show film crews to take five.

    He has announced that production teams will no longer be allowed on police raids, Bing spokeswoman Karen Dumas said this morning.

    The prohibition comes a little more than a week after a police officer fatally shot 7-year-old Aiyana Stanley-Jones during an early-morning raid on the city’s east side. A crew from the A&E real-life drama show about police departments across the United States was shooting footage as Detroit officers barged into her family’s duplex.

    “We don’t think it’s in the best interest of police procedure,” Dumas said.

    Bing wasn’t aware of the city’s relationship with the cable network’s TV show until after the May 16 raid, she said.

    “It’s not necessarily proven to be negative, but it’s also not necessarily proven to be positive,” she explained. “We’re dealing with a lot of perception… whether that is something that is negative or perceived as negative.”

    John Roach, a spokesman for the Detroit Police Department, declined comment this morning.

    The contract predates both Bing’s and Detroit Police Chief Warren Evans’ time in office, though Evans subsequently signed a contract extension, according to Dumas. She didn’t know how Evans was able to do that without checking with Bing or what the terms of the contract are.

    ITV Studios, the production company behind A&E’s “The First 48” gave their tapes to Detroit and Michigan State Police investigators, the producers said Thursday.

    “The First 48” first started chronicling the Detroit Police Special Response Team in 2006, according to the cable network.

    Farmington Hills lawyer Thomas Loeb said last week that an A&E crew also was taping during a daylight raid of a house belonging to the sister of a man involved in a homicide, a search he plans to sue the Detroit Police Department in federal court for, because they used a stun grenade.

    Bing defeated Mayor Ken Cockrel Jr. in a special election in May 2009 and two months later, replaced Police Chief James Barren with Evans, the Wayne County sheriff at the time.”

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