Earlier today, interim Fort Worth Chief of Police Ed Kraus said there are “no excuses” for the killing of Atatiana Jefferson, 28, over the weekend. Jefferson, a black woman, was shot dead by Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean, who is white, in her own home. A neighbor had called Fort Worth’s non-emergency line to report an open door at the house. There seems to be debate as to whether the call should have been treated as a “welfare check” or an “open structure,” nonetheless, that’s how Atatiana Jefferson came to be standing off with officer Dean in the middle of the night.
There’s bodycam video circulating that shows Dean approaching Jefferson’s house from the back yard sometime after 2 AM. He engaged Jefferson through her window, yelled “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” then quickly fired a fatal shot at the 28-year-old. Jefferson died on her bed, struggling for breath. It didn’t appear Dean identified himself as a police officer, and it seems he didn’t even give Jefferson an opportunity to comply with his commands.
Chief Ed Kraus was very apologetic to Jefferson’s family and emotional while vowing to get to the bottom of what happened on that fateful night. Chief Kraus was unfazed by suggestions that Dean fired at Jefferson because she leveled a gun at him through her window, saying she had every right to have a gun in her own home. After all, it was after 2 in the morning, and Dean stealthily approached through her back yard.
Atatiana Jefferson was a 2014 pre-med graduate from Xavier University working in pharmaceutical sales. She returned home to help look after her ailing mother. On the night in question, she was babysitting her 8 year old nephew – they were simply playing video games.
This area of Texas is going through tumultuous times. After the recent guilty verdict of Amber Guyger, a former officer with nearby Dallas Police convicted of murdering a black man in his own home, it looks like the unspoken “blue wall” of protection won’t be available to officer Aaron Dean.
We’ll be following the case closely and provide updates as they become available.