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The Texas ex-police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson in her own home has been indicted on a murder charge

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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Finally a step in the right direction!!
  • The former Fort Worth police officer who fatally shot 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in her own home was indicted on a murder charge on Friday.
  • Jefferson had been playing video games with her nephew on October 12 when the officer, Aaron Dean, shot her through her bedroom window.
  • Police had been dispatched to Jefferson's home after a neighbor reported that her door was open.
  • Dean resigned shortly after the incident and was arrested days later.
  • Visit Insider's homepage for more stories.
The former Texas police officer who fatally shot a black woman inside her own home was indicted on a murder charge by a Tarrant County grand jury, the Fort Worth Star-Telegram reported Friday.
Atatiana Jefferson, 28, had been playing video games with her nephew on October 12 when the officer, Aaron Dean, shot her through her bedroom window.
Police had arrived at the home after one of Jefferson's neighbors reported that her doors had been left open.
Body-camera footage showed the officers approaching the house quietly, using flashlights, and they could not be heard identifying themselves as police officers. The footage shows that Dean spotted Jefferson through the window and yelled, "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" and fired a shot immediately.

Dean resigned shortly after the incident and was arrested days later. The Fort Worth police chief, Ed Kraus, condemned his conduct and told media he would have fired the officer if he hadn't resigned first.
"I would have fired him for violations for several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct," Kraus said.
Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Jefferson's family, tweeted about the news Friday.
"Atatiana's family is [relieved] but remain cautious that a conviction and appropriate sentence is still a long way away. Keep pushing," he wrote.
 

JSt0rm

Lifer
Sep 5, 2000
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they train these tough guys like little bitches. He should get off on that.
 
Feb 4, 2009
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He's supposed to at least have yelled "Police!" Instead he just shot her through the window. She was babysitting.
Thing I heard sounded like the usual, he shouted drop the gun! Drop the gun! Then shot a second later.
Picture yourself looking out your window without a gun in hand would you even understand that order within 2 or 3 seconds?
 
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Paladin3

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  • Jefferson's eight-year-old nephew told police they were playing video games, and when Jefferson heard a noise outside, she grabbed a handgun from her purse and pointed it "toward the window."
  • Dean was responding to a wellness check at 2:25 a.m. after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to say Jefferson's front door was left open.
  • A press release from the Fort Worth Police department said that Dean saw a person standing near a window while searching the home's perimeter and drew his weapon.
  • The Fort Worth Police Department's interim police chief, Ed Kraus, defended Jefferson's decision to carry a gun.
  • Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Jefferson's family, said she had every right to defend herself, and echoed the fact that officers did not announce themselves when they were on Jefferson's property.
The cops didn't announce themselves. The went slinking around at 2:30 am on private property where a home owner has ever right to protect themselves, and didn't even bother to identify themselves before shooting her. If your gun clears it's holster before you even yell "Police!" then you deserve to be held accountable. All for a fucking open door.

Running into an armed homeowner was far more likely than confronting an armed burglar. I'd love to hear the 911 call, because the neighbor said he called in a welfare check, not a possible burglary. It's Texas. How could they NOT have expected to have a gun pointed at them while sneaking around a home at night?

This is a good step, but we need to go further than simply charging individual officers. We need agencies to rethink their deadly force policy and training so they don't put their officers in this kind of position. They should have immediately made contact with the home owner rather than go sneaking around trying to find a suspect.

EDIT: Link from OP's story added
 
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Pipeline 1010

Golden Member
Dec 2, 2005
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The murder charge is what will get this cop off. It is almost impossible to achieve a murder conviction in a criminal case against a cop who was on duty. The DA knows this, yet still chose to proceed with the indictment for murder. The DA wants the cop to get off and will get what they want.
 
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Paladin3

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On an aside, fuck that linked Yahoo.com story for leaving out the fact that she pointed a gun out TOWARDS the window. It in no way excuses shooting her, but there was no reason to edit that out unless they were trying to make the story even more inflammatory. Bad journalism.

Edit: to change "out" to "towards."
 
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Pipeline 1010

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On an aside, fuck that linked Yahoo.com story for leaving out the fact that she pointed a gun out the window. It in no way excuses shooting her, but there was no reason to edit that out unless they were trying to make the story even more inflammatory. Bad journalism.
This is completely irrelevant information. It doesn't change anything. Cops came on to her property all sneaky-ninja-style and she acted to protect herself from an unknown threat. And they killed her for it. THAT is what is inflammatory, not anything else. Not a single damn thing.
 

Paladin3

Diamond Member
Mar 5, 2004
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This is completely irrelevant information. It doesn't change anything. Cops came on to her property all sneaky-ninja-style and she acted to protect herself from an unknown threat. And they killed her for it. THAT is what is inflammatory, not anything else. Not a single damn thing.
She had every right to have that gun and protect herself, her nephew and home. The cop is 100% wrong in not at least announcing and identifying himself before shooting. He should have done so before even entering the property unless he has some reason beyond "open door" to make him believe there was a crime in progress or someone was in danger. And if he was worried about the safety of he residents, why not contact them asap vs sneak around hoping to catch a suspect of some kind.

So, 100% bad shooting, but you don't leave very pertinent facts like the homeowner was armed from a news story unless you want folks to think your reporting is biased. There is zero reason to do so.

Facts are facts and omissions are lies.
 
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SteveGrabowski

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Oct 20, 2014
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The murder charge is what will get this cop off. It is almost impossible to achieve a murder conviction in a criminal case against a cop who was on duty. The DA knows this, yet still chose to proceed with the indictment for murder. The DA wants the cop to get off and will get what they want.
What else would you charge the cop with? He didn't drop his gun and have it go off. He didn't lose control of his police cruiser and accidentally plow through her window and run Atatiana Jefferson down while he was fiddling with the radio dial. He pointed a gun at her, squeezed the trigger, and killed her. The only crime that makes any sense to charge here is murder.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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On an aside, fuck that linked Yahoo.com story for leaving out the fact that she pointed a gun out the window. It in no way excuses shooting her, but there was no reason to edit that out unless they were trying to make the story even more inflammatory. Bad journalism.
Please show us where shew pointed a gun out the window?? You probably cannot do that so we will not wait in baited anticipation...because she did not point a gun out the window,.....she pointed it towards thr window........duhhh hardly the same!
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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She had every right to have that gun and protect herself, her nephew and home. The cop is 100% wrong in not at least announcing and identifying himself before shooting. He should have done so before even entering the property unless he has some reason beyond "open door" to make him believe there was a crime in progress or someone was in danger. And if he was worried about the safety of he residents, why not contact them asap vs sneak around hoping to catch a suspect of some kind.

So, 100% bad shooting, but you don't leave very pertinent facts like the homeowner was armed from a news story unless you want folks to think your reporting is biased. There is zero reason to do so.

Facts are facts and omissions are lies.
until you link to your facts your facts are the ones in question...
 

Fenixgoon

Lifer
Jun 30, 2003
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What else would you charge the cop with? He didn't drop his gun and have it go off. He didn't lose control of his police cruiser and accidentally plow through her window and run Atatiana Jefferson down while he was fiddling with the radio dial. He pointed a gun at her, squeezed the trigger, and killed her. The only crime that makes any sense to charge here is murder.
murder charges often carry the additional burden of being premeditated.
on the flipside, manslaughter doesn't have that requirement, and is easier to prove in court, but can carry a lesser sentence.
 

SteveGrabowski

Diamond Member
Oct 20, 2014
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murder charges often carry the additional burden of being premeditated.
on the flipside, manslaughter doesn't have that requirement, and is easier to prove in court, but can carry a lesser sentence.
Not in Texas. There is no such thing as first or second degree murder in Texas. Manslaughter doesn't apply here, that's for accidentally killing someone through negligence. This was someone intending to kill another person, so only murder is appropriate.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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The key difference between murder and manslaughter in Texas is the issue of intent. A crime is charged as a murder when a life is taken with malice. However, a manslaughter charge can be brought if a victim is killed in the absence of malice or through recklessness. Killings may be murders or manslaughters.
 

Paladin3

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Mar 5, 2004
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Please show us where shew pointed a gun out the window?? You probably cannot do that so we will not wait in baited anticipation...because she did not point a gun out the window,.....she pointed it towards thr window........duhhh hardly the same!
Sorry, I didn't intend anything when I wrote "out" instead of "towards," even though it's pretty hard to point a gun towards a window without having it point out the window at the same time.

When I read the story I was shocked because it didn't answer some very obvious questions. Did the cop mistake a game controller for a gun? Why did he yell drop it and shoot? Then when I explored some of the links in the OP's news story I found the answer. She was holding a gun when he shot her.

That's a fact. Just like it's a fact that he failed to identify as law enforcement. Just like it's a fact that poor procedure had those cops more interested in catching a suspect than they did actually for the welfare of the residents or they would have made contact rather than sneaking around. Just like poor training and policy had the cop thinking his only option was to shoot the woman he hadn't even identified rather than deescalate the situation.

100% bad shoot. The arrest and charges are appropriate. And Yahoo.com left this very pertinent piece of info out of the story on purpose. Bad journalism.

I've added a link to my earlier post, it was all right there in the OP's story link if you click a bit. But if this is going to turn into you accusing me of defending the officer then keep it to yourself.
 

JEDIYoda

Lifer
Jul 13, 2005
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Sorry, I didn't intend anything when I wrote "out" instead of "towards," even though it's pretty hard to point a gun towards a window without having it point out the window at the same time.
You have to be insane,,,,,,if I am in the middle of the room holding a gun to protect my child and myself and I am not even close to a eindow there is no way the barrel of that gun is going to be pointed out the window...that smacks of making excuses for the cop.....YES-- she was hoolding a gun because she was scared and thought she was being robbed.....as you stated the cop did not identify himself...she was justified!!
 

Paladin3

Diamond Member
Mar 5, 2004
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You have to be insane,,,,,,if I am in the middle of the room holding a gun to protect my child and myself and I am not even close to a eindow there is no way the barrel of that gun is going to be pointed out the window...that smacks of making excuses for the cop.....YES-- she was hoolding a gun because she was scared and thought she was being robbed.....as you stated the cop did not identify himself...she was justified!!
Just stop. I've already agreed with you throughout the entire thread.

Her own nephew said she was pointing a gun "towards the window" and the cop obviously saw it or he wouldn't have yelled at her to drop it. If you want to infer where she was standing and what she was thinking and that the gun couldn't possibly have been pointed out the window, just "towards" the window, then you've got better info than the rest of us. But none of this minutia even maters.

She was very much in her own rights to protect herself, her home and family from someone who was creeping around her property. The cops failed to identify, failed to contact the resident, were more concerned with catching a suspect than the welfare of the residents, and chose to kill her rather than even think it could be a lawful homeowner protecting themselves. Cops need to practice more deescalation tactics in situations like these were a quick retreat and contain could have ended any perceived need to shoot. And Atatiana Jefferson wouldn't have been murdered in front of her eight-year-old nephew.

And, yes, Yahoo.com intentionally left out the fact that she had a gun from their story. On purpose. Bad journalism. There is zero reason to leave that part of the story out, unless Yahoo.com has a problem with being seen as taking the side of an armed citizen defending their home and family.
 
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woolfe9998

Lifer
Apr 8, 2013
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You have to be insane,,,,,,if I am in the middle of the room holding a gun to protect my child and myself and I am not even close to a eindow there is no way the barrel of that gun is going to be pointed out the window...that smacks of making excuses for the cop.....YES-- she was hoolding a gun because she was scared and thought she was being robbed.....as you stated the cop did not identify himself...she was justified!!
Paladin is talking about the article leaving out a pertinent detail. That is all. The fact that this detail doesn't exonerate the cop here doesn't make it not pertinent. You don't write a news story about a cop shooting a citizen and not mention that the citizen was holding a gun, even when it's still a bad shoot.
 
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pauldun170

Diamond Member
Sep 26, 2011
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The murder charge is what will get this cop off. It is almost impossible to achieve a murder conviction in a criminal case against a cop who was on duty. The DA knows this, yet still chose to proceed with the indictment for murder. The DA wants the cop to get off and will get what they want.
Yup.
This sound pretty accurate and part of the standard game plan when DA's are forced to handle a Law Enforcement case.
 

Lost_in_the_HTTP

Diamond Member
Nov 17, 2019
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His actions still remain inexplicable.
He just blew it badly. That's really all that can be said.
I'm inclined to agree. This was not one of those cold blooded shoots by veteran cops like the Tamir Rice case and so many others. I think this guy was somewhat green and simply panicked. No excuse, he needs to pay the price, but I don't believe there was malice or intent here.
 

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