Another Texas police officer has shot and killed an unarmed black person inside their own home this weekend, with the Amber Guyger verdict still fresh in the public psyche. Atatiana Jefferson is dead, having been shot through the window of her house in Fort Worth, Texas, on Saturday.
Police responded to a call for a welfare check at Jefferson's house in the early hours of the morning on Saturday, according to a report by local CBS News affiliate CBS11. They arrived just before 2:30 a.m. local time at the 1200 block of E. Allen Avenue, where Jefferson's door was left open. Presumably, that was the reason for the call.
Police began by doing a perimeter check of the house. Circling the building, an officer saw a person standing near a window and perceived them as a threat. He fired at the figure, killing Jefferson in one shot.
The Fort Worth Police Department explained this all in a statement on Saturday afternoon but did not identify the officer by name. They did reveal that he is a white male who has been with the department since April of 2018 and confirmed that he has been placed on administrative leave as the department conducts an investigation.
The community is devastated by the loss, including Fort Worth mayor Betsy Price. Price released a written statement saying that she grieves for the Jefferson family, and announcing that an outside agency will handle the case of the officer who shot Atatiana.
"Writing a statement like this is tragic and something that should never be necessary," the mayor said. "A young woman has lost her life, leaving her family in unbelievable grief. All of Fort Worth must surround Atatiana Jefferson’s family with prayers, love and support."
"Chief Kraus and his command staff are acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation," she went on. "More details are forthcoming and the Tarrant County District Attorney Law Enforcement Incident Team office will ultimately receive this case."0comments
CBS has published harrowing bodycam footage from the scene, showing the perspective of the officer in the case. The video includes a brief summary of the call, which noted that the neighbors are "usually home," and both of their cars were in the driveway. However, their door is not usually left open, as it was in this case.
The video ends with the shooting itself. It then zooms in on what may have been a firearm in the room where Atatiana Jefferson was killed. However, it is not clear whether it was in her hand, or whether she knew that it was the police searching outside of her house.