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Fort Worth woman killed inside her own home - Officer charged with murder

Discussion in 'Crimes' started by SheWhoMustNotBeNamed, Oct 14, 2019.

  1. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Woman Was Playing Video Game With Her Nephew When Shot by Fort Worth Police


    Minutes before she was shot and killed by a Fort Worth police officer, Atatiana K. Jefferson was playing video games in her bedroom with her 8-year-old nephew, a lawyer for her family said Sunday.

    Ms. Jefferson, 28, was proud of being the “cool auntie” to her siblings’ children, and had stayed up into the wee hours of Saturday morning with her nephew, Xbox controllers in their hands, according to S. Lee Merritt, the family’s lawyer. But the pair grew concerned around 2:30 a.m., he said, when they heard rustling outside the house and saw flashlights.

    A neighbor had called the police after seeing Ms. Jefferson’s front and side doors ajar, a call he later said he regretted making. The two responding officers quietly crept around outside the dark house, where Ms. Jefferson lived with her mother.

    After unlatching a fence door and walking into the back yard, a white male officer saw Ms. Jefferson, who is black, through her bedroom window. He shouted for her to put her hands up and immediately fired a single shot through the glass, according to body camera footage released by the department. The officers do not identify themselves as police in the video.

    Ms. Jefferson’s nephew was still in the bedroom when she was killed, the police said.

    The killing of a young woman in her own home devastated Fort Worth leaders and residents, who on Sunday said they were still struggling to make sense of the chain of events. About 500 people gathered peacefully in front of Ms. Jefferson’s home on Sunday evening, chanting, holding signs and registering people to vote. Many called for the officer to be fired and prosecuted.

    The Police Department has not named the officer, but said in a statement that he had perceived “a threat,” although a spokesman declined to elaborate. The officer had been with the department since April 2018 and has now been placed on administrative leave.

    Officers tried to provide medical care, but Ms. Jefferson was pronounced dead by 3:05 a.m., according to the Tarrant County medical examiner. Police said they had found a gun in the room — not the one the officer used — but have declined to answer further questions.

    “Law enforcement has not said that she wielded a weapon,” Mr. Merritt said, adding that she owned a gun legally. “Also, it wouldn’t matter, because that’s her home.”

    “I’m still struggling with the fact that a neighbor called, concerned about a neighbor, and this is the result that came from that care and concern,” said Ms. Allen Gray, who has lived in Fort Worth her entire life. “That cannot be the end of stories of people who care about each other. This cannot be the ending.”

    More: https://www.nytimes.com/2019/10/13/us/fort-worth-texas-shooting-jefferson.html

    GarAndMo49 and kdg411 like this.
  2. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    An Ex–Fort Worth Cop Who Shot And Killed A Black Woman Inside Her Own Home Has Been Arrested

    A former police officer in Fort Worth, Texas, who shot and killed a black woman inside her home this weekend has been arrested and booked on suspicion of murder.

    The arrest of Aaron Dean was made Monday afternoon after Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus said he intended to fire the officer for violating several policies in connection to the fatal shooting.

    Dean, who had suddenly resigned from the police department, was not being cooperative in the investigation, authorities said.

    "Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations for several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus told reporters.

    Despite calls for a review to be conducted by an outside organization, Kraus said that his department would continue with both the criminal and internal affairs investigations into the shooting.

    County jail records show Dean was in custody at the Tarrant County Corrections Center on suspicion of murder as of Monday evening.

    Police said more details about Dean's arrest would be made at a news conference on Tuesday.


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  3. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Former cop who killed black woman in her home charged with murder

    A former police officer who resigned Monday after fatally shooting a black woman in her home has been booked in jail for murder, according to the Fort Worth Police Department. Aaron Dean, who is white, fatally shot 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson early Saturday morning as she played video games with her nephew. His bond has been set at $200,000.

    The Fort Worth Police Department said that officers responded at about 2:25 a.m. Saturday after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to report that Jefferson's home's front door had been left open. The department added that officers saw someone near a window inside the home and that one of them fired after "perceiving a threat."

    The video released by police shows two officers searching the home from the outside with flashlights before one shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands." One shot is then fired through a window. The officer does not identify himself as police.

    "The family of Atatiana Jefferson is relieved that Aaron Dean has been arrested & charged with murder," family attorney Lee Merritt wrote on Twitter. "We need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing. The City of Fort Worth has much work to do to reform a brutal culture of policing."

    At a news conference Monday afternoon, police chief Edwin Kraus announced that Dean had resigned and apologized for Jefferson's death. Kraus said he intended to fire the officer Monday for violations of the department's use of force and de-escalation policies.

    "Nobody looked at that video and said there's any doubt this officer acted inappropriately," Kraus said. "I get it. We're trying to train our officers better, we're trying to shore up our policies, trying to ensure they act and react the way the citizens intend them to - that they act and react with a servant's heart, instead of a warrior's heart."

    According to Merritt, the child said his aunt wouldn't let him go to the window to investigate, instead going herself. That's when he saw her fall to the ground.

    "I ask myself what would have happened had that little boy went to the window instead of his auntie," Merritt said.

    "She was enjoying a life in her home, where no one would have expected her life to be in harm's way, especially not at the hands of a civil servant who has taken an oath to serve and protect," said Jefferson's sister, Ashley Carr.

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  4. GrandmaBear

    GrandmaBear Bronze Member

    This is tragic. At least he is under arrest. While I am all for LE generally, anyone else would be under arrest in the same circumstances. Something clearly went wrong here. The poor nephew seeing this; thank goodness he is okay.

    I saw the family and their attorney on TV yesterday and watched most of it.
  5. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    A murder warrant for Aaron Dean, the Fort Worth officer who killed Atatiana Jefferson, tells what led up to the shooting from the perspective of her 8-year-old nephew, who was in the room with her when she was shot.

    The boy told a forensic interviewer that he and his aunt were playing video games together about 2:30 a.m. Saturday when she heard noises outside. She took her handgun from her purse and pointed it “toward the window” before she was shot, the nephew said, according to the arrest-warrant affidavit.

    The 8-year-old saw his aunt fall to the ground. Jefferson, 28, was pronounced dead at 3:05 a.m.

    Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference Tuesday that it “makes sense that she would have a gun if she felt that she was being threatened or there was someone in the backyard.”

  6. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    She was pointing a gun at the police? I'm not getting why he's been charged with murder, then. I haven't read enough about this case to form an opinion, though. Maybe one of you guys can straighten me out. I'm confused.
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  7. GrandmaBear

    GrandmaBear Bronze Member

    I do not know a lot about it and think some things are not clear yet but the police I think allege she was at the window with a gun after her nephew and her heard noises in the back yard. She is in her own home and did not know who was outside. I do not know that the nephew confirms she had a gun in her hands.

    It is alleged I think that much protocol was not followed. Police never said they were police. They say she had every right to have the gun in her own house, etc.

    It is alleged this was a wellness check or should have been, and they went into the back yard instead.

    I heard someone say yesterday (think it was family) that they basically arrived with a tactical team (LE).

    The nephew wanted to go to the window but she stopped him and went instead.

    However, I am not sure what details in total back the murder charge; I don't think it can be premeditated murder? I don't know that she was pointing at police but was at the window with a gun when someone was heard in her yard at 2:30 a.m. or something like that

    You may know all of this but it is what I can think of offhand that I heard with the press conferences. The police chief I think it was did say he broke protocol (the officer) in more than one way/several ways.

    The only witnesses from what I understand are the police officers and the nephew. There may have been cam or audio? Because it is stated the officer did not announce they were the police.

    Tragic all of the way around is how I am seeing it so far. I think perhaps the fact the neighbor called the cops while very well intended left this woman not knowing who might be in her back yard or why at 2:30 a.m. I honestly don't know what to think thus far. Imo.
  8. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    If you heard someone sneaking around outside your house at night, and you had no idea who it was, and you had a legally owned gun for self protection in your own home, wouldn't you have it in your hands?

    The police did not park in front of her home. They did not have their police lights on. They parked on a side street and walked to the house. They did not announce themselves as police. They started moving around outside the home with flashlights. Mere SECONDS after they yelled at her to put her hands up, they shot her. (Sorry, but if you don't identify yourself as police, and you're sneaking outside my home at 2:30 am, and I don't know who you are, I'm not simply putting my hands up.) I'm sure in her mind she was defending her home and her nephew. Legally. And she was killed for it.
    daisy7, GarAndMo49, kdg411 and 2 others like this.
  9. SheWhoMustNotBeNamed

    SheWhoMustNotBeNamed Administrator Staff Member

    Yes, there is body cam footage.

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  10. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    I was going to come in and update my comment as I did find out that LE did not announce themselves! Even in my defense training, I learned that I am supposed to yell out "STOP, ARMED CITIZEN!" LE is supposed to announce themselves EVEN MORE SO! I get it now, totally get it!
  11. GrandmaBear

    GrandmaBear Bronze Member

    I posted and then shortly after saw this short clip on TV. I truly can't tell if he sees someone with a gun inside or not but they did not announce themselves. I think they did say put your hands up? But immediately after in the audio he shot?

    I would not want to be a cop and especially in a big city but then again this woman should have been safe in her own home hearing something and not having a clue officers were present.

    Tragic. Imo.
  12. kdg411

    kdg411 Resource Mod

    Father of Atatiana Jefferson dead of heart attack weeks after daughter shot and killed by cop in her home

    Less than a month after Atatiana Jefferson was fatally shot by a white police officer inside her Texas home, her father has died.

    Marquis Jefferson, 58, died Saturday night from a heart attack, a spokesman told NBC DFW.

    “It’s just sad because of grief. I don’t know what else to say," Bruce Carter told the station. “Less than a month ago, he was working at El Centro, mentoring kids twice a week. He just couldn’t get back from what happened with his daughter.”
  13. Kimster

    Kimster Director Staff Member

    He died of a broken heart! :(

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