October 13, 2019

The top lines of the story are heartbreakingly familiar: a Texas white police officer kills a Person of Color, neither suspected or guilty of anything, inside of her own home.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, a premed graduate of Xavier University, was in her home, playing video games with her nephew. Jefferson had moved back home to help her mother, who had been struggling with health issues. A neighbor, noticed that the lights were on and the front door was open (though the screen door was closed), called the police on the non-emergency line for a welfare check. A WELFARE check.

The police responded, and do a sweep of the outside perimeter of the house. At the same time, Jefferson hears something outside the home (and since the officers did not come to the door or announce themselves) assumes that there may be a prowler and goes to look to see if she can see someone or something. An officer sweeps a flashlight across a window and see the outline of a person. Drawing his gun, he yells, "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" and four seconds later, fires a single shot through the window, killing Jefferson.

The Fort Worth police department released the body cam footage of the outside sweep. They did not release any footage from inside the home for "privacy reasons." Trigger warning: GRAPHIC

The police department was also quick to show pictures of a gun found inside Jefferson's home, although they had no comment as to whether Jefferson was holding or even near the gun at the time of her death.

This is actually the seventh shooting by police in this same neighborhood. Six other victims have died. The police officer has not been identified, but placed on administration leave pending investigation, which the police department has turned over to the Tarrant County District Attorney's Law Enforcement Incident Team.

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