Civil rights activist the Rev. Al Sharpton gave a rousing eulogy Saturday for a 7-year-old girl killed in a police raid, challenging the hundreds of mourners to take responsibility and help stop a spiral of violence that has swept the city.
Sharpton lobbed some criticism at Detroit police, whose explanation of how Aiyana Stanley-Jones died from a gunshot has been contradicted by the girl’s family. But he mostly offered a broad cultural message to a city where at least three children and an officer have been killed in recent weeks.
"I’d rather tell you to start looking at the man in the mirror. We’ve all done something that contributed to this," he said referring to Aiyana’s death.
"This is it," Sharpton said at Second Ebenezer Church. "This child is the breaking point.
The congregation stood and applauded Sharpton, the final speaker at a nearly two-hour service that included stirring gospel music and remarks from clergy.
Aiyana was shot in the neck while sleeping on a couch May 16. Police hunting for a murder suspect say an officer’s gun accidentally fired inside the house after he was jostled by, or collided with, her grandmother. A stun grenade was also thrown through a window.
I was really touched listening to Rev. Sharpton. We must all share responsibility for Aiyana’s death. This is not about something that happened to "the others" in Detroit. This happened to some of us who happen to live in Detroit.