Fort Worth police officer shooting causes outrage


Addison P. '21, Writer

On Oct. 14, Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was shot in her home in Fort Worth, Texas while babysitting and playing video games with her eight-year-old nephew. According to the New York times, it started when one of the neighbors called the police department to order a wellness check to Jefferson’s house due to an open front door. Hours later, a white, male police officer approached the house and without identifying himself, lurked around the outside of Jefferson’s home. Moments later, the officer shined a flashlight through the window, ordered Jefferson to put her hands up and then opened fire without warning. The gun shot was fatal, killing Jefferson on the spot. The former Fort Worth police officer, Aaron Y. Dean was arrested and charged with murder. 

   The Fort Worth county chief of police, Ed Kraus, planned to fire Dean due to previous incidents throughout his career.  But, Dean resigned from his position just hours before that could occur. The community was furious; yet another black person had been killed by a white police officer. The anger furthered when the body camera video got released to the public; the video showed Dean shining a flashlight into Jefferson’s bedroom window and only saying “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” before firing the deadly shot. With the growing protests and frustration within the community, Chief Kraus spoke on behalf of the Fort Worth Police Department to avoid showing any support for this issue.

   “Nobody looked at that video and said there was any doubt that this officer acted inappropriately,” Kraus said.

  Regardless of the chief’s apology, this had not been the first shooting caused by a Fort Worth police officer. In the past three months, six people have been shot and killed by Fort Worth police officers for no valid reason. Following the Fort Worth shootings, another police officer in Dallas shot a black man in his apartment while off-duty. This further contributes to the growing outrage within the community regarding police brutality as well as racial discrimination.

   “I think police shooting people that are considered innocent is a result of discrimination and racial unfairness. People should not be harmed based on a single police officer’s opinion on them or their race,” Yadnya S. ‘21 said. 

   Others are in agreement, suggesting the need for a solution to this increasing issue.

   “I think police brutality is a very real threat to the foundation of American values and needs to be solved for our nation to move into the 21st century,” Abbey Z. ‘21 said.

   In response to the community in the past, Fort Worth has taken action to eliminate the racism within their police system through the creation of diversity programs and a further examination of discrimination in the department. The murder of Attiana Jefferson may have further added to the feeling of hopelessness within the North Texas community, but there is still an ambition of Texas natives to eliminate the racism buried inside Fort Worth indefinitely.