Family of Fort Worth Police Shooting Victim Calls for Federal Investigation

A yet-to-be-identified Fort Worth Police Department officer raises his gun to shoot Atatiana Jefferson.
A yet-to-be-identified Fort Worth Police Department officer raises his gun to shoot Atatiana Jefferson. Fort Worth Police Department
Updated at 1:15 p.m. with information from the Fort Worth Police Department press conference.

The family of Atatiana Jefferson, the woman shot and killed by Fort Worth police during a wellness call early Saturday morning, spoke out for the first time since the shooting Monday morning, calling for a federal investigation of Jefferson's death.

Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean shot Jefferson, who was black, as he searched the perimeter of Jefferson's mother's house, after a neighbor called the Fort Worth Police Department's non-emergency line because the door to the house in which Jefferson was shot was ajar.

During a news conference Monday afternoon, Fort Worth police Chief Ed Kraus said he planned on firing Dean after the shooting, but Dean resigned from the department before he could do so.

Jefferson, according to civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, was up late playing video games with her nephew. Fort Worth police confirmed Sunday that the nephew was in the room at the time of the shooting.
"You have been trained and you know better," Jefferson's brother, Darius Carr, said Monday. "Fort Worth PD can't investigate themselves. ... This man murdered someone. He should be arrested."

Body cam footage of the shooting shows a police officer in the house's backyard. He sees a figure in one of the home's windows, shouts, "Let me see your hands, put your hands up" and shoots through the window in a matter of seconds. The officer never identifies himself as a police officer.

FWPD found a gun in the apartment but hasn't determined where it was at the time of the shooting. Jefferson has a license to carry, according to Merritt.

"It's scary to see the Fort Worth Police Department's response to this community," Merritt said. "We believe that the fact that this was a black neighborhood had a role in their response (to the 911 call) — the fact that they showed up with SWAT as opposed to your friendly neighborhood cop."
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young