Family of Texas woman shot to death in home: Police officer ‘should be arrested’
The Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who fatally shot a woman inside a house over the weekend resigned Monday, hours before the police department was going to fire him.
Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus announced at a news conference that he intended to end Officer Aaron Dean’s employment, but he tendered his resignation first. Dean, who joined the department in April 2018, still faces criminal charges as well as possible civil rights violations and “no longer has the protections of state civil service law,” Kraus said.
Dean was initially placed on administrative leave.
“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 added.
During a separate news conference Monday, the family of victim Atatiana Jefferson, 28, demanded an outside investigation into her death and called for the officer who killed her to be fired.
“This man murdered someone. He should be arrested,” Darius Carr, Jefferson’s brother, told reporters.
Kraus brought the case to the Texas Rangers, who he said were not inclined to take it up at this point, and to the FBI, which did not immediately say whether it would review it.
Jefferson was “simply going on along with her life, living a law-abiding citizen’s peaceful life, and she was killed by a reckless act of a Fort Worth police officer,” an older sister, Ashley Carr, said. “There is simply no justification for his actions.”
Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew early Saturday morning when a neighbor noticed the front door of the house was ajar. Concerned, the neighbor called the Fort Worth police department’s non-emergency line to request a wellness check.
Body camera shows that when police arrived, an officer shined a flashlight through Jefferson’s window and yelled, “Put your hands up — show me your hands,” before firing a single shot at Jefferson seconds later.
Body cam video shows the moments before an officer shoots a woman inside her home
Lee Merritt, an attorney for the family, called the Fort Worth police department’s response to the situation “absurd” and said at a news conference that he was asking the U.S. Department of Justice to “come in and take a conscious look at the policies and procedures that allow something like this to happen.”
The response to the wellness check by Fort Worth police, Merritt added, was “the equivalent of SWAT” — involving several officers “prowling” around the property before opening fire without ever identifying themselves as police.
The killing comes less than two weeks after Amber Guyger, a former police officer in nearby Dallas, was convicted of murder for fatally shooting a man in his home that she mistook for her own last year. In both instances, the officer was white and the victim was black.
Source: NBC News OCT. 14, 201902:29Oct. 14, 2019, 11:19 AM PDTBy Elizabeth Chuck