Not Again! Black Woman Shot & Killed By Texas Cop In Her Own Home
Now comes word that yet another African American, a woman this time, has been shot and killed by a cop inside her own home early Saturday morning in Fort Worth, Texas. This latest police killing followed a neighbor’s call to the police “non-emergency” line to perform a “wellness” check on his neighbor, Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, 28.
Ms. Jefferson was shot while in her own bedroom at approximately 2:30 a.m., October 12, 2019, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner.
The Fort Worth Police Department issued a statement that its officers responded to a 2:25 a.m. call, and searched the perimeter of the premises in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue. Five minutes later, Ms. Jefferson was dead at the hands of one of these officers.
An as yet unnamed officer, after seeing someone through a window of her home, drew his weapon and fired one shot, instantly killing Ms. Jefferson.
“The individual,” said the statement, “a black female, who resides at the residence succumbed to her injuries and was pronounced deceased on the scene. The officer, a white male who has been with the department since April of 2018, has been placed on administrative leave pending the outcome [of] the critical police incident investigation.”
The statement also said that following the shooting, officers entered the residence and found Ms. Jefferson — and…a firearm. They then began administering CPR.
FWPD released body camera footage of this incident taken from the officer who shot and killed Ms. Jefferson. It shows him — white, male, armed-and-ready — as he noticed the open door of the home, which had its lights on.
The bodycam further shows this still unknown officer creeping around the home’s perimeter into what looks like a patio area. He then opens a gate, and moves to a darkend part of the yard while holding a flashlight….no weapon is seen in his hand yet.
The officer then peers through a window, and into a brightly lit room, where he, apparently, sees a person, a shadow, or a silhouette of a person. Without even the slightest hesitation, he simultaneously points his flashlight with one hand, and now his gun-in-the-other-hand through the window .
“Put-your- hands-up-show-me-your-hands,” he shouts, his voice rat-tat-tat-ata-tatting, as fast as any rapid-fire machine gun….only a nano-second before firing off a single shot from his very real, very deadly “service weapon” through the window.
The time from the voice command to the shooting of the weapon? Four seconds.
Ms. Jefferson, self-assured and “secure” in her own home, therefore never had a chance to even respond to Officer Unknown. In other words, she never had a chance to ask, “Who’s there?” “What’s the problem?” Or question this unknown person outside her window ordering her to raise her hands in her own bedroom: “What are you doing outside my window at 2:30 in the morning?”
Or to even duck or dive for cover.
Interestingly, both the body camera footage released by police and separate still photos show the presence of a gun inside the house. Yet, what is not shown, and what the police report does not indicate, and neither does the video capture, is whether or not Ms. Jefferson was anywhere near the weapon when she was shot and killed by this still unidentified Fort Worth police officer.
It should and must be noted that the police emphasis on the presence of a firearm in Ms. Jefferson’s house is an early attempt to justify her killing. Texas, “the Lone Star State,” and especially its signature cities of Fort Worth and Dallas, has long been an open carry state — and those two particular cities essentially defined and determined ”How The West Was Won.”
Fort Worth Star-Telegram Reporter Jack Howland actually interviewed James Smith, the would-be “good neighbor” who lived directly across the street from Ms. Jefferson. Mr Smith crucially, tragically, placed the fateful and…fatal early morning phone call to police after observing that two doors on neighbor Jefferson’s home were slightly open and the lights were all ablaze throughout the house.
Again, Smith told Howland that he called the FWPD non-emergency number, requesting a well being check on his neighbor, Ms. Jefferson.
Ms. Jefferson lived with a hospitalized aunt and her 8-year-old nephew. At this writing, it is not clear whether the young boy was home at the time of the shooting/killing of his aunt.
Mr. Smith described himself as being “shaken” by the incident; and, sadly, he at least partly blamed himself for Ms. Jefferson’s death-by-cop.
“If I had never dialed the police department, she’d still be alive,” he said.
“It makes you not want to call the police department. If you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?”
Atatiana Koquice Jefferson and Botham Jean
Atatiana Koquice Jefferson’s Facebook page says that she was born in Dallas and graduated from Xavier University of Louisiana with a Bachelor of Science Degree in biology. A 2015 YouTube video shows her conducting an online class in anatomy using a miniaturized model skeleton.
A 2012 video shows her practicing Spanish with a friend.
Her heartbreaking Facebook cover photo is of broken-up pretzels arranged to spell out the word — what else, of course — “LOVE.”
Amazingly (or perhaps not so amazing, after all), this Fort Worth police shooting of yet another obviously and clearly innocent black person comes hard on the heels — only a couple of weeks — after Amber Guyger, a former white police officer in just-down-the-road Dallas, was found guilty of first degree murder (and yet sentenced to only ten years in prison) for fatally shooting her unarmed black neighbor as he sat eating ice cream, watching football in his underwear, in his own damn apartment. Botham Jean, accountant (CPA) with one of the most prestigious accounting firms in the world, Gospel singer and budding preacher-pastor, son, brother, uncle, all-round good guy — this brother was a 26-year-old black man originally from the pristine and picturesque Caribbean island of Saint Lucia.
As I’ve written here earlier, since 2016 (or at least, 1619 — take your pick), in this nation-state there has always existed a sometimes dormant, but always armed-and-at-the-ready-to-rise “white backlash” against any real or perceived or possible black upward progress: “It Really Is Open Season On Black People.”