The authorities of Fort Worth, in Texas, have a common opinion: they want justice for Atatiana Jefferson, 28, who died inside her own home early Saturday morning by a police officer's shot. That agent resigned on Monday morning, just before the head of that Department fired him.
"Atatiana was a beautiful and intelligent woman who was unfairly separated from her family," said Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price at the start of the press conference on Monday. "There is nothing that can justify what happened … And for Atatiana's nephew some apologies are not enough," he added.
What happened on Saturday is not new. According to a newspaper log Dallas Morning News, since June 1, officers of that body have killed or injured 7 people, including Jefferson. That is why this Monday, Price informed that the mayor's office made a request for a panel to review the performance of this police.RELATED
"Atatiana was a victim, she was taken from her family in an unfair way," said the mayor. "Everyone expects justice."
Also at the press conference was the head of the Fort Worth Police Department, Ed Kraus, who first apologized to the family and the community for what happened and said he demands that a "transparent" investigation be done: "It's not time to make excuses but to investigate and do justice for Atatiana. "
Then, he reported that the officer who shot Jefferson, named Aaron Dean, had resigned this Monday morning even before he was interviewed about what happened. "If he had not given up we would have fired him for violations of policies on the progressive use of force and non-professional conduct," he said. In addition, he assured that his body discharge papers will say that he came out in a "dishonorable" way and that despite his resignation he faces criminal charges that will come from the investigation of the case.
According to the press release that the police released on Saturday, that day two Fort Worth Police officers arrived at the house at 2:25 a.m. They responded to a 911 call from a local neighbor, James Smith, who reported that the door of one of the adjacent houses was wide open.
Officers checked the perimeter of the house and observed a person standing very close to the window inside the residence: "Upon perceiving a threat, the officer took out his service weapon and fired a shot he gave the person (. ..) The officers entered the house and found the person, a firearm and began to give him medical care. "
The woman was Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman who was at home playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew, who later witnessed what happened to her aunt. Jefferson died after the shot and was pronounced dead at the scene, they add.
Both Price and Kraus said Monday that the weapon that was found in the place is irrelevant, because in Texas the carrying and use of guns for personal defense is allowed, among other reasons, if someone is threatened inside their home.
The officer who shot, police said in his press release on Saturday, had been in the body since April 2018.
The body video that was released by the Department that same day, shows the agent while walking through the garden with a flashlight that early morning and once in front of the window, shouted: "Hands up, show me your hands." Then, almost immediately shot.
On Sunday, the police admitted that the agent never identified himself as such before detonating his gun. It all happened in less than 10 seconds. His performance has again challenged this body and has generated protests in the city with requests for justice. In the press conference on Monday, some journalists were just asking the police chief how he will recover the lost confidence of the community in the organization after this event.
Earlier this Monday, Jefferson's family gave a press conference in which he called for an independent investigation into what happened, asking that the Fort Worth Police recuse himself in this case.
Lee Merritt, a Jefferson's lawyer, demanded that the federal government get involved in inquiries into Atatiana's death by remembering that the Fort Worth Police Department has been involved in several recent shootings.
The Jefferson's defender claimed the speed with which Aaron Dean detonated his gun: "You can't hear the officer say," I have a gun, gun, gun, "Merritt said in an interview with the local NBC office." Time to feel a threat. That is murder. "
Regarding Jefferson's nephew, the lawyer said that this week he will begin receiving counseling. Jefferson's mother and elder sister, Amber Carr, told the press conference that he is the one who has given her strength since the shooting. "In the middle of the night, when I'm crying, he lifts me up and tells me to take a breath through his nose and throw it out of his mouth. He holds me, hugs me," said Amber Carr, regretting that it is he who is giving her strength to her.
The death of the young woman not only calls into question the actions of the Fort Worth Police Department but also revives the national debate on the actions of officers in the United States, especially when a person of color is involved in the situation .
Almost two weeks ago, the police officer of the neighboring city of Dallas Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison. She entered the wrong apartment – she says it was her own – and shot Botham Jean when he was sitting in the living room of his own house, eating ice cream and watching television. She also claimed that she had detonated her weapon in self-defense, fearing it was a robbery and could be attacked. That despite the fact that Jean cooperated with his request to raise his hands.
In photos: The unusual death of Botham Jean, shot by an officer in his own apartment
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