October 13, 2019

Action Alert:
Shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson: officer must be charged

12 October 2019, Ft Worth, Texas– a twenty-eight-year-old woman is dead.  Atatiana Jefferson was shot in her own home by an officer standing outside of it who had been called to check a non-emergency situation.  He is suspended – not charged with any crime.  She was caring for a young nephew when she was gunned down.

As Television News team WSB reported:  “Police bodycam video shows officers with flashlights and guns drawn scanning the perimeter of the home. The front door appears to be open although the screen door is closed. As officers continue to walk through the property, one of them sees a person standing at a dark window and yells: “Put your hands up. Show me your hands,” before firing a single shot.

In the video, he does not identify himself as a police officer”

The man who called the police, concerned for his neighbour because a door to her home was opened, told reporters:   “I’m shaken. I’m mad. I’m upset. And I feel it’s partly my fault.” Mr Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. “If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive.”

“I called my police department for a welfare check,” Smith told WFAA. “No domestic violence, no arguing, nothing that they should have been concerned about as far as them coming with guns drawn to my neighbor’s house.”

Smith, who has lived in the neighborhood 50 years, is sorry he called the NON-EMERGENCY POLICE NUMBER about the doors.  The police were NOT led to believe there was a situation or emergency – but the officer who took this woman’s life has neither been arrested nor charged.

The  Ft Worth Police issued a statement – without a single word of accountability or apology in it – no doubt on the advice of their legal team.  It outlines what happened omitting the fatal errors of procedure and judgment the police made.  The police have told the press that there was a gun on the premises but no evidence she held it, let alone threatened anyone with it.  Mentioning this irrelevant weapon seems to many to be an attempt to smear the deceased’s reputation.  By all accounts, she was simply a woman at home looking after a nephew, and rather than the police ringing her doorbell, they in a blind and unjustified, training-ignoring move, snuck around her house, shouted once, and killed her.

Rights activist Shaun King tweeted:  “I need you to show up in a major way for this fund to support the family of #AtatianaJefferson. She was the provider and caregiver for her entire family and they need our help IMMEDIATELY. Make your best donation today, please. LINK: gofundme.com/f/1s5tcouu9c


1.   We would like members to send financial support to the family if they are able to – all amounts will help:  That link again is:  https://gofundme.com/f/1s5tcouu9c


2.  We will contact the Ft Worth Police;

Please contact Ft Worth Police through one of the channels below and give them the following message, personalized to your liking:


 The sickening murder of  Atatiana Jefferson is going unpunished tonight, why haven’t  you arrested and charged the officer who killed her?   


If your training is so appalling that a non-emergency call to check on welfare ends up with the shooting murder of the woman you were supposed to ensure was safe, it is time for you to fire everyone responsible for putting this person on the street with a badge and a gun.  You have cost lives before, but this is unthinkable.


I cannot help but wonder whether racism is playing a part here.  If you can’t understand why it looks that way, kindly explain to me why an officer skulks around Ms Jefferson’s home and shoots her dead after yelling a command she possibly did not hear, and could never have imagined was directed to her in her own home.  It looks like your video ends just as the shot rings out – and it looks like that shot immediately followed the ridiculous yelling of your untrained, dangerous officer.  It is a disgrace.  It also looks like he didn’t even identify himself as being in the police.  Further, the only clear and present danger in the video is not the woman walking in her home, but your armed, lethal, over-reacting, law-breaking officers.  There are many questions, but one question I want you to reply to me on in particular – and I do expect  a reply from you.  If your officer was so terrified for his life to the point he decided to use lethal force and shot the 28-year-old woman within seconds of yelling at her window: how was it that he immediately decided no one else was in her home and  it was safe to rush inside and try to give her CPR?  I want to know more of what the video record shows and will be watching for more of it to be released.

I am absolutely furious at this turn of events and will follow closely the proceedings.  I am going to send aid to the family if I can, and if they choose to sue, which I hope they do, I will do my best to support them.

If there were any honor in your force, senior officers would have resigned in disgrace with huge remorse over something like this.  Your force is not fit for purpose as things stand, and if you don’t arrest and charge the officer now, you are sending the message that black people, women, anyone – can be shot dead in their Ft Worth home by you.  Protect and Serve?  Not in Ft Worth. 

Suggested tweet:   


Arrest officer NOW 4 manslaughter-min. Ur video conveniently ends as what sounds like shot heard: there’s zero time for any1 in house 2 respond: if u were safe in ur own house- even if you heard put ur hands up- u wd not remotely think u were about 2 b shot. This is disgusting.


Phone:  817-392-422

Email: via website – currently not responding https://police.fortworthtexas.gov/

and email:  CPD_ProfessionalStandardsCaptain@fortworthtexas.gov

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/InsideFWPD/

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/fortworthpd


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