Police authorities in Fort Worth, Texas said Monday that officer Aaron Dean—who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson early Saturday monring—would have been fired had he not first resigned and that he still faces possible criminal charges over the shooting.
Online progressive advocacy organization Color of Change on Sunday amplified the demand for justice in Forth Worth, Texas after a white police officer shot dead 28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, a black woman, in her own home early on Saturday morning.
“Black people shouldn’t have to live every day with the pain of knowing we are not safe even in the comfort of own homes, living our own lives,” the racial justice group said a tweet.
As the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported, officers went to Jefferson’s home at roughly 2:25 am Saturday in response to a neighbor’s call on a police non-emergency number. That neighbor, James Smith, saw lights on and the doors open and knew Jefferson was there with her 8-year-old nephew.
“I wanted to make sure they were safe,” Smith said of the wellness check. “That’s all I wanted to do.”
The Fort Worth Police Department released some of the body cam footage of the deadly event. It shows officers walking outside the perimeter of Jefferson’s home with flashlights. One officer shouts, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” A single shot is fired a second later. The officers do not identity themselves as police officers. The video released then shows another still frame officers say was a gun in a bedroom.
The family said Jefferson and her nephew were playing video games.
(Warning: Viewers will hear the fatal shot in the video below.)
The police department, in a statement released Saturday, said that the officers “observed a person standing inside the residence near a window. Perceiving a threat the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot.”
“You didn’t hear the officer shout, ‘Gun, gun, gun,'” Lee Merritt , the family’s attorney, said after viewing the officer’s bodycam video. “He didn’t have time to perceive a threat. That’s murder.”
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