Officers had shown up at Jefferson’s home for a wellness check – and then started shooting.
The family of Atatiana Jefferson, a black woman who was shot through a window by police, has filed a lawsuit against the Texas city of Forth Worth and the officer who killed her.
According to CNN, the amended lawsuit was filed in the Northern District of Texas earlier this week. In the complaint, Jefferson’s family alleged that Officer Aaron Dean’s conduct “caused the untimely death of Atatiana Carr a / k / a Atatiana Jefferson” during “the course and scope of employment.”
Dean, says CNN, resigned from Forth Worth police and was charged with murder. He was charged late last winter.
CNN recalls Jefferson, 28, playing video games with her nephew at around 2 a.m. on October 12, 2019, when Dean and another officer arrived at her home.
A concerned neighbor had called the police about a wellness check – they noticed that one of Jefferson’s exterior doors was open despite the late hour. As Dean and his colleague were walking around Jefferson’s house, they heard a noise coming from the house.
Jefferson, recalls CNN, heard the officers moving in front of their house. Little did Jefferson know they were law enforcement agencies. Suspecting intruders, he took a pistol from her purse and approached the window.
Dean yelled from the courtyard and immediately told Jefferson to obey his instructions.
“Hands up!” Shouted Dean. “Show me your hands!”
Photo by David from Diemar on Unsplash
Although Dean didn’t have a clear line of sight – and maybe didn’t know that Jefferson wasn’t able to see into the dark night from a well-lit house – he opened fire and killed Jefferson.
Body camera footage, which was later reviewed, showed that neither Dean nor his colleague had identified themselves as police.
The lawsuit says Jefferson was killed at home “without breaking any state law […] Their shooting was for no provocation or cause. It has also been suggested that the city “knew, or should have known, that the Defendant Aaron Dean had a pattern of escalating public encounters”.
The Associated Press notes that while police performance reviews failed to mention Dean’s alleged “pattern of escalating counters with the public”, a supervisor did not have “poor communication skills” in both his encounters with the public and with colleagues templates.
The complaint also alleges Forth Worth and Dean of “Atatiana Carr a / k / a Atatiana Jefferson intentionally indifferent protection from harm by systematically failing to provide its officials with adequate training and oversight to implement the Atatiana Carr a / k / a Atatiana Jefferson to maintain rights and much-needed medical care. “
“The defendants disregarded the rights of others and their behavior in the circumstances was extreme and unreasonable,” the lawsuit said.
Atatiana Jefferson’s family files lawsuits against the city, an officer who shot them
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