People are outraged over the killing of 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. Naturally, many are skeptical of how the Fort Worth Police Department is handling the case.
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On early Saturday morning, an officer responded because a concerned neighbor requested a wellness check. Jefferson died about 2:30 a.m. local time after the officer killed her in her own home by shooting his gun through a window. Jefferson was reportedly playing video games with her nephew.
In a subsequent press release announcing the shooting, Fort Worth police claimed the officer was “Perceiving a threat” at the time. The press release also said that officers saw “a firearm” when they entered Jefferson’s home and found her. The Fort Worth Police Department then reportedly released an image of that firearm, even though there was no claim of that gun being used or even wielded during the one-sided encounter. Texas is a state with laws that permit citizens to openly carry guns.
Jefferson was reportedly shot within four seconds of the officer arriving.
According to local news outlet WFAA, police held a press conference Sunday and offered no explanation for why they “released images of a gun in Jefferson’s bedroom, what those images were intended to convey, or what may have prompted the officer to fire his weapon.”
Merritt started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the 28-year-old’s funeral and related costs. According to her Facebook and LinkedIn pages, she worked at and attended the historically Black college Xavier University of Louisiana.
The neighbor who called the non-emergency police number in Fort Worth said he only reached out to police because he found it curious that her lights were on and her door was open at such a late hour. James Smith said he was concerned because he said he knew Jefferson’s young nephew was there with her. But now, Smith said he regretted contacting law enforcement about Jefferson, who he called his friend.
The former police officer Aaron Dean quit working for the Fort Worth Police Department hours before it was expected that he would be fired.
Twitter is not here for it. See the reactions below: