Texas police departments have been under public scrutiny lately due to both the Botham Jean case and the recent fatal police shooting of Atatiana Jefferson. Now a former Fort Worth Texas officer is coming forward to say that as a civilian she now fears the same department she was once a part of.
“As a black female, former police officer, I’m afraid when I get stopped,” Larhonda Young admitted to CBS News Monday about why she doesn’t trust local officers, and also believes Jefferson’s death illustrates a blatant breach of protocol.
“Officers are shooting before assessing the situation,” Young said. “If that officer had simply knocked on the door, that young lady would be alive today.”
To her point body camera footage confirms that Dean never identified himself as a police officer and it’s since been reported that both Jefferson and her 8-year-old nephew believed him to be an intruder that they needed to protect themselves from. Unfortunately, the young boy witnessed the moment his aunt was shot and killed in her home Saturday.
Dean was responding to a 2 a.m. wellness call from a neighbor, who told the dispatcher, “The front doors have been open since 10 o’clock.”
Since the incident Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus has said that it may not have been clear there was no emergency, explaining, “If they thought they had something more criminal, then a more tactical response would be warranted.”
“No guns should’ve been out. There was no threats,” Jefferson’s sister Ashley Carr pushed back. Kraus agrees with the victim’s family that there’s no reasonable excuse for Dean’s actions.
When asked what he had to say to members of the community who no longer trust Fort Worth police Kraus responded, “I tell them, I get it. We’re trying to ensure that they act and react… with the servant’s heart, instead of a warrior’s heart.”