Two weeks ago, the Dallas cop who murdered Botham Jean in his own home was sentenced to 10 years in prison after jurors decided that Amber Guyger’s killing of Jean should be a murder rather than manslaughter charge. And not even 14 days later, Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death by a Fort Worth cop while she was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew at home. Just 28-years-old, Atatiana Jefferson approached her window when she heard someone outside yell “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” from outside her house. Not even four seconds later, FWPD cop Aaron Dean shot and killed Atatiana in front of her young nephew. Three days after the murder, Dean was arrested and booked and held on $200,000 bond and less than three hours after his arrest, he was bailed out of jail.
Early Saturday morning at around 2 am, Atatiana’s neighbor called a non-emergency line to ask for a wellness check at her house because the doors were wide open. He was a concerned neighbor worried about her and her dad, not expecting what was eventually to come. Instead of approaching Atatiana’s house in a calm manner to conduct a routine wellness check, the Fort Worth cops surrounded the home with their weapons drawn, aiming flashlights into the windows. When Atatiana walked near a window inside the home, Dean yelled the commands and instantly fired bullets into her body. Soon after the news broke of Atatiana’s murder, FWPD tweeted a photo of a gun they supposedly found in her residence as they attempted to create a scene where they could have “feared for their lives” (despite Texas being an overwhelmingly proud 2nd amendment and Castle Doctrine state). Dean resigned before he could be fired and FWPD announced they would conduct an investigation into what happened on Saturday (aka the murderers investigate themselves and expect us to believe they’ll do the right thing).
Atatiana Jefferson was a devoted daughter, aunt, sister, and professional. She moved into her mom’s house earlier this year so she could take care of her. She graduated from Xavier University in 2014 and worked in pharmaceutical equipment sales while caring for her mother and her nieces and nephews. But even if Atatiana wasn’t all of these things, even if she had never accomplished anything in her life, she should have never been murdered by cops. She was just playing video games with her nephew, fully alive, and in one second, she was gone. I can only hope that Atatiana’s family (especially her sweet nephew) gets the help and justice they deserve and that we can eventually stop talking about cops executing people every day.