The Texas officer who fatally shot a woman inside her home this weekend was sent to handle a possible burglarly — not a wellness check as requested by the neighbor who called police.
In a press release issued shortly after the shooting, Fort Worth police said that officers were dispatched to Atatiana Jefferson’s home amid an “open structure call.” Bodycam footage from that night shows officer Aaron Dean, 34, inspect the perimeter of the home before yelling “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” and firing into a bedroom window, killing Jefferson, 28.
Neighbor James Smith told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram that he called a non-emergency number and asked for a welfare check after noticing that the doors to Jefferson’s home were open and lights were on. He said he knew Jefferson was home with her 8-year-old nephew.
Despite this, the Star-Telegraph reported that 911 records labeled Saturday’s call as a “burglary.”
In the 311 call, Smith told a dispatcher that Jefferson’s front doors had been open for hours and that he didn’t see any movement inside. He also noted that it wasn’t normal for his neighbors to have both doors open.
Citing police logs, the Star-Telegraph reported that responding officers were provided the following details: “(calling party) advised front doors to (address) is open … both of neighbor’s (vehicles) are in driveway: white sedan and (dark) colored sedan. Neighbors are usually home but never has door open.”
The news outlet reported that they asked officials what exactly dispatchers told the responding officers and what the call was labeled before officers were sent to the residence. While Fort Worth police spokesperson reportedly responded in an email that additional information would be revealed during Sunday’s press conference, those questions were not addressed.
Dean resigned from the police department on Monday, before he was fired for violations in his conduct, use of force, and de-escalation protocols. He was ultimately arrested and charged with Jefferson’s murder.
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[Featured image: Atatiana Jefferson/Facebook]