Questions and demands for justice remain after a white police officer killed a black woman, 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson, inside her own home in Texas over the weekend. An attorney for Jefferson’s family, Lee Merritt, said after viewing video taken from a Fort Worth officer’s bodycam during the shooting that “You didn’t hear the officer shout, ‘Gun, gun, gun. He didn’t have time to perceive a threat. That’s murder.”
Jefferson’s family said that the victim was watching her 8-year-old nephew when she was killed early Saturday while police checked on the home after a neighbor called a police non-emergency line to report that the front door was open.
The Fort Worth Police Department said in a statement that officers saw someone near a window inside the home and that one of the officers drew his duty weapon and fired after “perceiving a threat.” The video released by police shows two officers searching the home from the outside with flashlights before one shouts, “Put your hands up, show me your hands.” One shot is then fired through a window. The officer does not identify himself as police in the video.
Police said the officer, who’s been on the force since April 2018, is on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation. His name was not released. The Fort Worth Police Department said it released bodycam video soon after the shooting to provide transparency, but that any “camera footage inside the residence” could not be distributed because of state law.