On the night of October 12, 2019, Atatiana Jefferson, 28, had committed no crime, had harmed no one, and was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when she heard a noise in the backyard and went to investigate. As Jefferson walked to the window to see who the prowler was, the prowler opened fire and murdered her inside her home. Because this prowler wears a badge, however, instead of investigating a murder, the police department conducted damage control by assassinating Jefferson’s character before arresting Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean with her murder.
It has been over a year since Dean murdered Jefferson in her own home and the officer has yet to even go to trial. Now, because the wheels of criminal justice are barely turning, two members of Jefferson’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fort Worth and the former officer to seek civil justice.
The murder took place early on a Saturday morning when an officer was dispatched to Jefferson’s home because her door was slightly ajar. To be clear, however, Jefferson had storm doors, which were closed. Only the door inside was open, which is common for people who have the glass outer door. Instead of simply walking up to Jefferson’s door and ringing the doorbell or knocking, the officer crept around the home like a cowboy. When he spotted Jefferson in the window, he opened fire and killed her. According to her family, Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew was in the room when he watched his aunt “Tay” fall to the ground and die.