Fort Worth Officer Charged With Murder for Shooting Woman in Her Home…Simply Because She Was Black?


AP Photos

This undated photo provided by Jefferson’s family shows Atatiana Jefferson. A white Fort Worth police officer, who shot and killed Jefferson through a back window of her home while responding to a call about an open front door, acted without justification and resigned Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, before he could be fired, the police chief said. (Jefferson’s family via AP) ORG XMIT: NYHK106

Raquel Perry, Marketing Manager

Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, was shot and killed in her home by a white police officer in Forth Worth, Texas, at 2 a.m. on October 12. The officer was arrested and charged with murder on Monday. This was the latest development in a case that has sparked national outrage across and renewed demands for increased police accountability.

The incident started when a neighbor had noticed that the front door to Atatiana’s house was open and called the police department’s non-emergency number to report it. Atatiana was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew in her own home. She stood in front of her window because she wanted to investigate the noises from officers outside when she was shot through her bedroom window.

The officer who killed Atatiana was supposed to be conducting a “wellness check” in which they were required to check on Atatiana’s well-being. However, Atatiana’s well-being and the emotional well-being of her 8-year-old nephew have been forever impacted, since he is now a witness of his aunt’s murder.

Atatiana had done nothing wrong and broke no laws. What she had done: living in the USA while black.

This incident resembles the recent conviction of another Texas police officer, who is white. The officer supposedly went to the wrong apartment floor on September 6, 2018, and shot her upstairs neighbor, Botham Shem Jean, who was black. Botham Jean was a 26-year-old accountant from Saint Lucia. Botham was watching television and eating a bowl of vanilla ice cream in his home in Dallas before he was murdered.

For many black Americans, Jefferson’s fatal shooting has revealed yet another facet of modern life. For the third time in two years, our country has seen a police officer charged with murder in the killing of innocent African-American residents.

We need to weed out the white supremacy, white paranoia, and white violence in the police force and in our society.

Atatiana Jefferson did not get the opportunity to tell the officers “checking” on her that she did not need their assistance. Her skin color was perceived a threat, and, in a matter of seconds, she was gone.

Another argument, according to police, is that Jefferson may have pulled a pistol from her purse as she was determined to figure out what was happening in her backyard. Isn’t this America, after all? A person has a right to self-defense, especially at home. This does not give a reason as to why the officer did not knock on the front door and make himself known before entering the backyard.

The death penalty was her sentence, according to Aaron Dean, the white police officer who killed her. Thankfully, he has been charged with murder. However, he remains free on bail while Atatiana remains dead. Is that fair?

There are moments that mark not just turning points in history, but points where it is evident that leaders must step forward and do the work to change the course of history. How much more blood does it take before America sees and reckons with itself?