Fort Worth Officer Who Shot Woman in Her Home Arrested on Murder Charge

Bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals are piling up outside the Fort Worth home Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, where a 28-year-old black woman was shot to death by a white police officer.

Bouquets of flowers and stuffed animals are piling up outside the Fort Worth home Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, where a 28-year-old black woman was shot to death by a white police officer. AP Photo

 

Connecting state and local government leaders

STATE AND LOCAL ROUNDUP | Massachusetts may expand parole options for people with murder convictions … Chicago mayor proposes consolidating departments to close budget gap … Christmas parade reinstated in West Virginia after backlash.

A white Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed a 28-year-old black woman inside her home Saturday morning resigned from the police department and later was jailed on a murder charge. The arrest of Aaron Dean in the death of Atatiana Jefferson came after Mayor Betsy Price told reporters the shooting wasn't justified and interim Chief Ed Kraus said he had been prepared to fire the officer before he resigned. “Nobody looked at that video and said there’s any doubt that this officer acted inappropriately," Kraus said. At a Sunday evening vigil, hundreds of people mourned Jefferson and urged authorities to prosecute Dean. Jefferson's family has also called on police to hand the investigation over to an independent agency. Officers had gone to Jefferson’s home on a welfare check, sent there by a neighbor who called a non-emergency line to report that the door was open in the early morning hours. Body camera video was released of the shooting, which showed that Dean did not announce himself as police and fired from outside the house through a bedroom window. The officer was checking the backyard, when the video captured him yelling, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” and then firing his gun. Police initially said he “perceived a threat,” but haven’t said what it was. They also said there was a gun in the home, but didn’t release more information about the weapon and where it was found. On Monday, Price said the gun was irrelevant and Jefferson had a right to have it in her home. Kraus said his agency's criminal investigation would continue and the FBI has been briefed, while City Manager David Cooke said the city will conduct an outside review of police policies and training, as well as assemble a team of experts to assess use-of-force. The city also plans to hire a police monitor. Jefferson, a graduate of Xavier University, had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when she was killed. The child was in the room during the shooting, said Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the family.  Merritt said Jefferson was very close with her family, taking care of the house because her mother was very ill. "She was the auntie that stayed up on Friday night playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew," Merritt said. Adarius Carr, Jefferson's brother, said it is clear that the officer "should be arrested.” The fatal shooting of Jefferson, the sixth since June by a Fort Worth officer, comes less than two weeks after a Dallas police officer was sentenced to 10 years in the shooting of 26-year-old Botham Jean while he was eating ice cream inside his apartment. The officer, Amber Guyger, said she thought it was her apartment. [Fort Worth Star Telegram, Dallas Morning News; WFAAUSA Today]

PAROLE | In Massachusetts, first-degree murder convictions come with a mandatory sentence of life without parole. But state lawmakers are now considering a change, the outgrowth of broader criminal justice reform efforts. There are 1,084 people serving that sentence. Under a new proposal, people convicted of first-degree muder would be eligible for a parole hearing after 25 years of incarceration, and every five years after that. Family members of murder victims, including Donald Harty, whose father was killed in 2016, have spoken out against the change. “Had the writer of this bill been more accurate, I think it would be titled, ‘An Act to Put Murderers Back on the Street,’” he testified before the legislature. State Rep. Jay Livingstone, a Democrat who is sponsoring the bill, said that the bill would only offer a hearing, not guarantee parole. “It would simply allow people the chance to prove they could be a positive addition upon return to society,” he said. [Boston Herald; Daily Hampshire Gazette

BUDGET GAP | Chicago is facing an $838 million budget gap, leading Mayor Lori Lightfoot to suggest an unusual merger between two city departments, which would save $1 million. Lightfoot proposed merging the Department of Innovation and Technology with the Department of Fleet and Facility Management, a move that would have to be approved by the city council before going into effect in 2020. “The proposed consolidation will retain all current technology and data talent and services provided by DoIT today, aligning them with a department focused on supporting other city departments in providing the most efficient and effective services to neighborhoods," said mayoral spokeswoman Lauren Huffman. The proposal has drawn criticism from some in the city’s technology community, including Tom Schenk Jr., who served as the city’s chief data officer under former mayor Rahm Emanuel. “Today, City of Chicago has made a terrible decision to merge IT operations with fleet and facility (who manages properties and city vehicles). That’s right, someone is going to have to manage cars, buildings and IT in one job,” he tweeted. Derek Eder, president of Chi Hack Night, a civic tech organization, similarly tweeted his concern. “This seems like a bad idea. From my understanding, the roles and responsibilities of these two departments don't really overlap at all,” he said. [Chicago Tribune; Chicago Sun-Times]

CHRISTMAS PARADE | The mayor of Charleston, West Virginia reversed a decision made a few days earlier to change the name of the city’s annual December parade from the “Christmas Parade” to the “Winter Parade.” The move was intended to make the parade more inclusive, and to recognize the diversity of religious beliefs held by residents of the city, Mayor Amy Schuler Goodwin said. Conservatives and Christian leaders quickly voiced their criticism though. State Senate President Mitch Carmichael, a Republican, issued a statement rebuking the city and the mayor. "We are calling on Mayor Goodwin and her liberal allies to end this madness and allow our citizens to freely and fully exercise their Freedom of Religion with a CHRISTMAS PARADE," he said. Goodwin reversed her decision within three days. "After much consideration and conversation with religious leaders from all faiths and community members, we have decided to keep the name, 'Charleston Christmas Parade.’ We understand the history and tradition of the parade and we want to continue that for years to come,” she said. [Associated Press; WOWK; WHSV]

REDUCING CONGESTION | A proposal in the New York state legislature would stagger the start times for state employees who work in and around the capital. Assemblymember Angelo Santabarbara, a Democrat, wants the legislature to consider staggering start times in an effort to reduce congestion on crowded highways in Albany and the surrounding area. He pointed to a recent study that found commuters in New York’s capital region spent an average of 49 hours stuck in traffic per year. “Congestion on these major roadways will only get worse if we don’t begin looking for solutions now. Staggering the time state workers begin and end their workday is one solution that has the potential to decrease the number of cars on...key roadways during the morning and evening rush hour,” he said. The capital region of New York was ranked 41st on a list of cities with the worst congestion delays for commuters. [Albany Times-Union]

Emma Coleman is the assistant editor for Route Fifty and Laura Maggi is the managing editor.

FEATURED CASE STUDIES
Powered By The Atlas
Town meets changing LCR compliance by prioritizing communication, resident education, and equity
Wellington, CO 80549, USA
Improved Water Quality and More Field Time Due to a 97% Reduction in Office Admin Work
Marin County, CA, USA
Integrated city systems, unified data, & automation drive 316% increase in field efficiency
Seattle, WA, USA

NEXT STORY: Taking The Cops Out Of Mental Health-Related 911 Rescues

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.