DETROIT (AP) - A Detroit police officer on Wednesday defended his decision to not arrest a murder suspect a few hours before a raid to snare the man led to the death of a sleeping 7-year-old girl.
Raymond Trammell told jurors at the involuntary manslaughter trial of a fellow police officer that conditions on the street were too dangerous that night in 2010 and that the capture of Chauncey Owens would have violated policy.
Trammell described how Owens came close to his unmarked car, but that his job was to monitor the suspect, not spring from the vehicle and pounce on him.
"Dealing with the people out there, vehicle traffic, pedestrian traffic, him with another male — putting myself in that situation is highly dangerous," Trammell said.
His superior, Sgt. Anthony Potts, told jurors that Trammell's decision was correct.
Trammell and Potts testified at the trial of Joseph Weekley who accidentally fired his gun during the police raid to capture Owens, killing Aiyana Stanley-Jones as she slept on a couch.
Prosecutors allege Weekley committed a crime by failing to properly control his gun. Weekley, however, claims the gun fired when Aiyana's grandmother reached for it during chaotic moments after a stun grenade was used to confuse people inside the home.
The raid was recorded by a crew from the police reality show, "The First 48." The jury saw short bits of video Tuesday.
On the video police can be heard saying they didn't see any sign of children at the house when they drove by it earlier, but just after the raid evidence tech photos show toys outside the house, something officers don't recall seeing.
Sgt. Anthony Potts testified that he recognized the "pop" sound as one that came from a mp5 submachine gun.
"I remember hearing the flash bang deployed .. between 30-35 seconds later .. i heard a pop .. I
remember hearing a woman screaming," testified Sgt. Potts.
Weekley's attorney asked Sgt. Potts what kind of an officer is Officer Weekley.
Sgt. Potts answered, "A damn good one."
Mark Robinson, a cousin of Aiyana's, testified that he was outside the house when the raid went down.
"At that moment, I just heard my auntie screaming .. y'all killed my baby!", said Robinson.