This is the message that will be sent to Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton:
Atatiana Jefferson deserves justice NOW
**UPDATE 10.14.19**| Police Chief Kraus allowed Aaron Dean to quit his job before he could be fired. His record will mention dishonorable discharge, but it's not clear whether he can collect his pension and be re-hired in another police department. He was arrested today for the murder of Atatiana Jefferson.**
Black people cannot go a single day without having to bear the pain of knowing we are not safe even in the comfort of our own homes in this country.
Another white police officer in Texas has killed a Black person doing nothing but relaxing in their own home, only a couple weeks after the sentencing of Amber Guyger. Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old pre-med student, was at home playing video games with her nephew when police were dispatched to her home after a neighbor noticed her doors were open late at night. He wanted someone to check and make sure she was okay. Instead of making a quick safety check, the police arrived, saw Atatiana moving inside her own home and the officer, who did not self-identify as an officer, yelled "put your hands up" from outside and shot into her window within seconds. He gave Atatiana no time to comply, and no warning. She was pronounced dead at the scene. Within 24 hours, the mayor released body-cam footage of the incident and said the officer was being placed on administrative leave. But that's not nearly enough.
Every single time police kill Black people with impunity, they are given time to alter their story, time to villainize the victim, time to figure out how they will escape accountability this time. And we've had enough. Atatiana Jefferson deserves justice NOW. The officer, now revealed to be Aaron Dean, was allowed to quit before he could be fired--meaning he'll receive a pension. Meanwhile Atatiana's family has to reckon with the fact that their aunt, sister, and daughter is gone and never coming back. We know we can't rely on the police to investigate themselves nor can we rely on the corrupt district attorney in Tarrant County. DA Sharen Wilson has refused to prosecute killer cops before--most recently in the killing of O'Shae Terry. And she's the same district attorney who prosecuted Crystal Mason, a Black woman who was criminally charged for voting in the election.
Sign the petition and help us demand justice for Atatiana. We're calling for:
- An independent criminal investigation and the appointment of a special prosecutor. We can't rely on the police to investigate themselves. And we can't rely on Tarrant County DA to deliver justice in this case.
- A federal civil rights probe into the Fort Worth Police Department. Since June, seven people have been wounded or killed by these officers. We need answers.
Here is the Petition:
In the spirit of transparency and accountability, we are calling on Fort Worth and state officials to ensure there is justice for Atatiana Jefferson. The state must launch an independent investigation and appoint a special prosecutor. Further, there must be a federal investigation into the Fort Worth police department.