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Aaron Dean for Atitana Jefferson

Former Fort Worth Police Officer, Who Killed Atatiana Jefferson, Indicted On Murder Charge

A Texas grand jury indicted a former Fort Worth police officer for murder after fatally shooting a young woman who had been babysitting her nephew at home in a case that drew public outrage and outcries for police accountability.

According to NBC, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office confirmed the indictment for the former officer, Aaron Dean, in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old pre-med graduate student.

The attorney for Jefferson’s family, Lee Merritt, tweeted that they are relieved with the indictment, but “remain cautious that a conviction and appropriate sentence is still a long way away.”

Tarrant County prosecutors said since the beginning, they had enough evidence to ask for the grand jury indictment and said in a statement they vowed: “we will prosecute this case to the fullest extent of the law.”

This case led to a rare murder charge against a police officer in the United States when Dean was initially arrested just days after the incident occurred. He resigned from the Fort Worth Police Department before his arrest.

“Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations for several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct,” Police Chief Ed Kraus told reporters.

Jefferson had been at home babysitting her 8-year-old nephew and playing video games when Dean and another officer responded to an early morning house call for a “Welfare Check” after a neighbor became concerned when they noticed the front door of Jefferson’s home was open.

Bodycam video released to the public showed the perspective of an officer outside the home peering into a window using a flashlight and spotting someone inside standing near the window. The officer yells, “Put your hands up-show me your hands,” and then a single shot is fired. The footage shows that Dean failed to identify himself before firing his weapon, hitting Jefferson.

Aaron Dean for Atitana Jefferson

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