Less than two weeks after a jury found former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murdering an unarmed man, a woman died after a police officer shot her in her Fort Worth home.
On Sunday, hundreds gathered in Fort Worth, asking questions and demanding justice in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson. The officer who shot her has not yet been named.
Nichole Manna is an investigative reporter for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. She says the incident started after a neighbor called the city’s non-emergency 311 line early Saturday morning to request that an officer come check on Jefferson because her front doors had been open for hours, which he found unusual.
Police body camera footage shows that the officers didn’t announce their presence, something the department later confirmed during a press conference.
“That’s something that [Fort Worth police] plan to ask the officer during a scheduled interview today,” Manna says.
It’s unique that the body camera footage became publicly available so quickly, Manna says. That’s partly because Fort Worth’s Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus vowed to release footage swiftly after the department’s last officer-involved shooting. Manna says that’s an effort to make police activity more transparent to the public. But the department has said little since the tape was released.
“They released a written statement, but a press conference wasn’t called until the next day on Sunday,” Manna says. “That press conference was very short. Interim Chief Kraus was not there, and they plan to hold another press conference today.”
She says all that is known about the officer who killed Jefferson is that he’s a white man who joined the Fort Worth Police Department in April 2018.
Six people, including Jefferson, have died in police shootings since June, Manna says. Some were armed, including 18-year-old Amari Malone; Jefferson was not. Both were African American. Activists marched in protest of Jefferson’s shooting after a prayer vigil on Sunday. Fort Worth police will present the case to a grand jury, which will then decide whether or not to indict the officer. And Manna says there’s talk of Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price asking an outside organization to investigate the shooting as well.
This story has been updated to omit the jargon term, “officer-involved shooting.”
Written by Caroline Covington.