The Fort Worth Police Department in Texas is under serious fire after an unarmed women named Atatiana Jefferson was fatally shot inside her home by an officer responding to a welfare check.
Monday, Jefferson’s family held a press conference to address their supporters and the Fort Worth Police Department. During the press conference the family detailed what they needed in order to receive justice for the loss of their loved one.
“Their officers violated not only the rights of Tay Jefferson and her family, but they just made common sense mistakes,” a family spokesperson explained to reporters. “They passed an open door, they failed to announce themselves, they passed the second open door, they failed to announce themselves, they creeped around the back of the apartment and entered a closed gate. They didn’t have probable cause at this point from what the neighbor told them to even enter that property. They began creeping around and they created a deadly situation.”
“The idea that they have blasted images of a firearm across the internet is obscene. Of course, a family owns a firearm,” he continued. “Firearms are used to protect individuals from predators prowling about the property. That’s only common sense. They created a deadly situation and they responded in a way that is not unique to the city of Fort worth. In the last six months, they’ve had 10 officer-involved shootings, seven officer-involved deaths, that’s more than most nations for a single city in Texas. It represents a serious problem that must be addressed. So, of course, this family is calling for the firing of this officer. That’s benign. That’s the least we should expect. They’re calling for this officer to be vigorously prosecuted, to be appropriately sentenced.”
STARTING NOW: The family of a victim killed by police in her living room in Fort Worth, Texas, holds a news conference. https://t.co/RiwqDs11sg
— ABC News (@ABC) October 14, 2019
Jefferson’s brother, Darius Carr, who is currently stationed in San Diego and has served this country for the last 12 years, shared how his military experience makes him clear about what needs to happen next.
“When you don’t do it the way you’ve been trained or what you’ve been taught, you have to answer for that,” he declared. “You have been trained. You know better, so you have to answer for that. Not in your command, not your department. Someone comes in and investigates the whole incident. Fort Worth PD cannot investigate themselves.”
At one point Carr became emotional but pushed through stating of the officer who killed Jefferson, “This man murdered someone. He should be arrested.”
“What we’re looking for is for this office not only to be fired, but we’re demanding that this officer be charged as well like the criminal that he is,” said Cory Hughes, an activist and a member of the Fort Worth community who accompanied the grieving family.
“It’s a sad commentary in this day and age that someone could be sitting in their home playing a video game with a family member and not be safe,” he concluded, echoing the thoughts of many on social media.
“That when someone calls the police for a wellness check, that instead of them checking on how well she is, days later we’re here talking about the fact that an officer took her life. It’s unacceptable, we’re demanding justice. We’re demanding that the Mayor and the city officials don’t sweep this under the rug. We’re not going to allow you to. This life mattered. This life mattered. This family matters. And we’re demanding justice and we’re not going to wait. We demand justice now.”