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Atatiana Jefferson

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Justice has been finally served for Atatiana Jefferson, the 28-year-old Black woman who was fatally shot inside her Fort Worth home in 2019.

On Dec. 15, former officer Aaron Dean was found guilty of manslaughter for killing Jefferson, a charge that is punishable by up to 20 years in prison, ABC News reported. Dean may also be required to pay a fine of up to $10,000. The jury will begin sentencing today.

As MADAMENOIRE previously reported, Atatiana Jefferson’s tragic shooting took place Oct. 12, 2019, as she was playing video games at home with her young nephew. Before the shooting, Dean and one other officer were responding to a neighbor who called a non-emergency police number to report a safety check at Jefferson’s home. The anonymous caller grew worried after they saw Jefferson’s doors were open in the middle of the night.


Aaron Dean did not identify himself as he approached Jefferson’s home

Dean and his colleague did not park near the home, knock at the door, or announce their presence while they were investigating Jefferson’s property, body camera footage revealed. During his testimony, Dean claimed that he shot Jefferson through her window out of self-defense because he saw the silhouette of her gun. He suspected that a robbery was in progress after he peered through the front door to see the home in a disheveled state. But bodycam footage later concluded that when Dean entered Jefferson’s backyard, he looked into one of the windows of the home before firing his gun.

Dean’s testimony was further weakened by Carol Darch, the responding officer that was with him during the night of the shooting. When Darch took the stand earlier this month, she testified that Dean never said the word “gun” or that he saw someone with a firearm before he shot Jefferson or after they went inside and searched the home, NBC News noted.

Jefferson’s nephew Zion testified that his aunt had left the doors open because they burned hamburgers earlier in the night and were airing out the smoke. As they were playing video games, Jefferson was startled after she heard a noise stirring outside. According to Zion, she then grabbed her gun from her purse and approached the window. Throughout the case, police officials acknowledged that Jefferson was well within her rights to protect herself inside her home.

Dean resigned from the Fort Worth police department shortly after the incident took place. During the trial, Fort Worth Chief of Police Ed Kraus said that before he left, Dean was on the verge of being fired for allegedly violating multiple department policies.


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