Ex-Cop Explains Why Texas Police Killing Was Avoidable
A former Fort Worth cop breaks down why Atatiana Jefferson's killing was avoidable — and a symptom of a greater problem in policing.
Another high-profile case from the Dallas-Fort Worth area involving an officer shooting a civilian in their own home
Could better community policing have prevented the killing of Atatiana Jefferson? The 28-year-old was shot dead in her home by an officer responding to a neighbor's call about an open door at her home. A former Fort Worth, Texas police officer broke down what went wrong and why the killing was avoidable. Officers arrived on the scene and one is alleged to have shot Jefferson through her back window after seeing a firearm in her hand. Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew heard suspicious sounds from outside, which prompted her to retrieve her gun.
“I was a Fort Worth police officer from 1992 to late 2004. In the information that I first heard, it was that an officer went on a wellness check and shot somebody and just having that information, the first thing went to my went through my mind was what happened that made it get to that level. And so as more information started to come out that the officer actually went to search this side of the house and did not, you know, identify himself, then it kind of became, you know, why would an officer at 2:30 in the morning, go walking and snooping around somebody's house without checking to, you know, or identifying themselves as being on the property? My first thought is if I start walking around in the back door and these people are home, they might shoot me because I don't know who I am,” LaRhonda Young, (formerly Fort Worth PD) tells Brut.
The shooting comes on the back of the Amber Guyger trial, another high-profile case from the Dallas-Fort Worth area involving an officer shooting a civilian in their own home. The officer since resigned and has been charged with murder. Young says the killing is a symptom of what happens when the idea of community policing is disregarded.