Aaron Dean has formally been charged with murder. He was booked in the Tarrant County Jail on Monday evening with a $200,000 bond but is currently out on bond.
The officer, Aaron Dean, who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson has resigned just hours before Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus planned to fire him. “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 stated.
Dean, who joined the force in April 2018, had been placed on administrative leave. He will also face criminal charges and possible civil rights violations but is said to not be cooperating with investigators.
Press conference from the family:
Original story 10/12/19:
A white Fort Worth, Texas police officer has shot and killed a black woman inside her own home.
What We Know:
- At approximately 2:30 AM, officers arrived at the East Allen Avenue home after a neighbor called for a welfare check. The neighbor called in stating the screen door was closed but the door itself was open and the lights were on and that this was rare.
- Upon arrival officers begin checking the outside perimeter of the home with guns drawn. Within minutes a figure can be seen in a window and the officer turns around, yells “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” Then fires a single shot within 3 seconds. The body cam footage can be viewed here if desired.
- Officers attempted to perform CPR but the young woman, now identified as 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson, was pronounced dead on the scene. She was watching her 8-year-old nephew.
- The officer is said to have found a firearm in the bedroom after entering the home. Police say it’s unclear if Jefferson had possession of the firearm at the time of her being shot and killed.
- Neighbor James Smith, who called non-emergency services for the welfare check, says he’s regretting he called anyone at all. “I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault. If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive. It makes you not want to call the police department,” said Smith of the tragic incident.
- Fort Worth Pastor Michael Bell of Greater St. Stephen First Church criticized police for their statement on the shooting. “It doesn’t say she pointed a weapon; they found one once he went in,” Bell said in video posted by reporter Cleo Greene. “The Fort Worth Police Department murdered this woman.”
When will this end? What will it take?
Our prayers and thoughts are with the family and friends of Jefferson and the community impacted by this tragedy.