A white police officer in Forth Worth, Texas who shot and killed a black woman in her home two months ago was indicted for murder Friday
Aaron Dean, 35, was charged with murder for shooting Atatiana Jefferson, 28, through the window of her home as she babysat her nephew on Oct 12
Dean was one of the responding officers when police arrived to her house after a neighbor called a non-emergency line requesting a welfare check
The neighbor had called police because Jefferson’s door had been left open, and a neighbor reported seeing lights on and her front door open around 2.25am
Bodycam footage captured the moment officer Dean investigated the perimeters of Jefferson’s home before he saw a person standing near a window inside the home and fired his gun
The shooting sparked outrage and Dean resigned from the police department two days after the shooting
The grand jury indictment was made Friday, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office told NBC News.
‘The former @CityofFortWorth cop that shot #AtatianaJefferson to death in her home was indicted for murder by a Tarrant County Grand Jury today!,’ Jefferson family lawyer S. Lee Merritt, Esq. tweeted after the indictment.
‘Atatiana’s family is relived but remain cautious that a conviction and appropriate sentence is still a long way away. Keep pushing.’
Dean resigned from the police department after the shooting, which took pace while Jefferson was babysitting her eight-year-old nephew.
Dean was one of the responding officers when police arrived to her house after a neighbor called a non-emergency line requesting a welfare check at the home because the door had been left open.
Dean cannot be heard identifying himself as police on the video. Police said Dean drew his gun after ‘perceiving a threat’ but that there was no sign he or the other officer who responded ever knocked on the front door.
A gun was found in Jefferson’s home after the shooting, but police and city leaders have said it was not relevant to her death.
Fort Worth Police Department Chief Ed Kraus said Dean was dispatched to investigate an ‘open structure call,’ a situation which could mean a door left open by accident or a burglary in process.
Atatiana was playing video games with her eight-year-old nephew Zion when Dean arrived and crept around the back of the home, gun drawn and unannounced, according to his arrest warrant and bodycam video.
The victim heard noises, pulled her handgun out of her purse and pointed it at a bedroom window, Zion told police, according to the warrant.
Dean shined his flashlight into the window and said: ‘Put your hands up, show me your hands!’
He fired a split second later, without identifying himself as police, bodycam video showed.
Police Chief, Ed Kraus [photo], said officer Dean violated a series of police policies and it was understandable that Atatiana would draw her gun in such a situation