Recorded on police body cam video shooting an innocent woman at her residence, a former Fort Worth police officer was recently indicted by a Texas grand jury for her murder. Although the ex-cop was arrested for murder in October, the grand jury indicted him on Friday.
Around 2:25 a.m. on October 12, a neighbor called a non-emergency police number after noticing the front door open at a nearby house. According to Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus, the dispatch operator failed to report the welfare check to responding officers and instead only reported an “open structure” call.
Instead of knocking on the screen door or announcing their presence, the officers walked past two cars parked in the driveway and entered the backyard. With his flashlight aimed at a window, Officer Aaron Dean suddenly drew his gun and screamed, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!”
Within three seconds, Dean fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson, 28, through the closed window without identifying himself as a police officer. According to the family’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, Jefferson had been playing a video game late into the night with her 8-year-old nephew in the moments before she was killed.
According to Dean’s arrest warrant, Jefferson retrieved a gun from her purse when she heard noises outside her window. But Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price has asserted that the gun is irrelevant because homeowners in Texas have the right to be armed on their own property.
Two days after the shooting, Dean resigned from the department. A few hours later, he was arrested for fatally shooting Jefferson.
On Friday, a Tarrant County grand jury indicted Dean for the murder of Atatiana Jefferson.
Jefferson graduated from Louisiana’s Xavier University in 2014 with a degree in biology and worked in pharmaceutical equipment sales.