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Posted under: News

White Cop Who Killed Atatiana Jefferson Refusing To Cooperate With Police Following Resignation

Xaiver University alumna Atatiana Jefferson was pronounced dead at the scene around 2:30 a.m. Saturday.

Update (October 14, 2019): The police officer who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson in her Fort Worth, Texas, home has resigned, CNN reported.

Aaron Dean was served with an administrative complaint and stripped of his work belongings before resigning. 

Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus announced the decision and added the officer could face criminal charges.

“Nobody looked at this video and said that there’s any doubt that this officer acted inappropriately,” Kraus said during a Monday press conference.

According to CNN, had Dean not resigned he would have been fired for multiple violations including the department's use of force and de-escalation policies. 

"My intent was to meet with him today to terminate his employment with the Fort Worth Police Department, however, the officer tendered his resignation this morning before we met," Kraus said.

Kraus said Dean has refused to cooperate during the investigation, according to New York Daily News. It is not known exactly how Dean has refused to cooperate. 

The department presented a case to the FBI for review of possible civil rights violations. 


Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said Jefferson’s death was unjustified.

“I'm so sorry. On behalf of the entire city of Fort Worth, I'm sorry,” Price told reporters on Monday. “To Atatiana’s family, it’s unacceptable. There is nothing that can justify what happened on Saturday morning. Nothing.”

Officials said the officers responding to the house didn't park their patrol cars out front, nor did they identify themselves before firing shots

A picture of a handgun inside the home was also released by the police department. Price said the pictures were "irrelevant."

“I want to address the images that were released picturing the gun inside Ms. Jefferson’s home. A gun is irrelevant. Atatiana was in her own home, caring for her 8-year-old nephew. She was a victim. And she was taken from her family in circumstances that are truly unthinkable,” Price said.

Price added City Manager David Cooke will be leading a team of experts responsible for reviewing the police department. 

Lee Merritt, an attorney for both Jefferson's and Botham Jean's family, said her death is inexcusable

"There was no reason for her to be murdered. None," Merritt said. "We must have justice."

“Why this man is not in handcuffs is a source of continued agitation for this family and for this community,” Merritt added.

Original: A Fort Worth, Texas, police officer fatally shot an unarmed Black woman during the early hours of Saturday morning.

Identified as Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old victim was reportedly home watching her eight-year-old nephew, when law enforcement entered the residence in response to a standard welfare check. Called in by neighbor James Smith, the routine check was initiated over concerns for Jefferson's safety, after Smith noticed the front door of her home had been left ajar.

In the aftermath of the tragic incident, Smith expressed his regrets about calling the authorities. 

“I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault,” he told The Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive.”

Fort Worth Star-Telegram | Fort Worth Police Department

According to Fort Worth Star-Telegram, police bodycam footage reveals two officers checking the perimeter of the property with flashlights. As one officer makes his way to the back of the house, he seemingly responds to movement from "a figure through a dark window."

“'Put your hands up! Show me your hands!' he shouts through the window, his gun drawn. He then fires a single shot through the window. In the video, he does not identify himself as an officer," Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported.

The "dark figure" has now been purported to be Jefferson, who had been playing video games with her nephew, when she overheard a mysterious sound — the sound of police entering her backyard in the wee hours of the morning. 

According to CNN, the officer then opened fire on the person they saw through the window. A Tarrant County Medical Examiner concluded Jefferson died around 2:30 a.m. Saturday morning in the bedroom. The department has yet to release the name of the officer. However, authorities did confirm the officer was Caucasian and has been on the force since April 2018. 

Obvious parallels between the news of Jefferson's death and the recent killing of Botham Jean, another unarmed Black person whose demise came at the hands of Texas police, has inspired many to take to social media, distraught and outraged over yet another police-involved shooting. 

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price released a statement, sending her condolences to the victim's family. 

"Writing a statement like this is tragic and something that should never be necessary," Price reportedly texted to a WBAP/KLIF News reporter. "A young woman has lost her life, leaving her family in unbelievable grief. All of Fort Worth must surround Atatiana Jefferson’s family with prayers, love and support. Chief Kraus and his command staff are acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation. More details are forthcoming and the Tarrant County District Attorney Law Enforcement Incident Team office will ultimately receive this case."

The officer responsible for the shooting has been placed on administrative leave pending an internal investigation.

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