The controversy over the police shooting of 7-year-old Aiyana Jones during a raid in Detroit this week has a huge complication: A camera crew from an A&E reality show was riding along with the cops that day and captured at least part of the incident on tape. And the Washington Post reports that some critics believe presence of the crew from The First 48 may have been responsible for the death, which occurred in the chaos following police detonation of a flash grenade.
They believe the cops used the grenade only to impress the camera crew. "I am absolutely convinced that, when police officers go on search-warrant raids with a film crew tagging along, officers think more about making good television rather than executing a search warrant with concern about the safety of officers and citizens," says Farmington Hills, Mich., lawyer Thomas Loeb, who specializes specializes in police misconduct lawsuits. If so, it certainly wouldn't be the first time a reality show tinkered with real life in order to make a better program.