Activists, leaders nationwide react to arrest of ex-Fort Worth officer who killed woman

Tarrant County Jail

National leaders and local politicians reacted to the arrest of a Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed a woman inside her home early Saturday morning.

Atatiana Jefferson was killed by an officer in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue at about 2:30 a.m. Her neighbor had called a non-emergency police number to ask if someone could check on the house because the door was open.

On Monday afternoon, the officer who shot Jefferson was identified as Aaron Dean. Dean resigned from the police department Monday morning before a scheduled interview with the Major Case Unit. Chief Ed Kraus said he would have fired Dean if he had not resigned.

Dean was arrested Monday night and charged with murder in Jefferson’s death.

Over the weekend and on Monday, #AtatianaJefferson was trending on Twitter. On Monday evening, a new hashtage appeared: #AaronDean.

Here’s what some local and national leaders and activists had to say.

U.S. Rep. Marc Veasey, D-Fort Worth, called for Dean’s arrest on Twitter earlier Monday. He said that Dean’s resignation was not enough and that he should be in jail.

After Dean was arrested, Veasey tweeted, “About time!”

In an interview with the Star-Telegram on Sunday, Veasey said the officer who shot Jefferson made a very quick judgment call and it made “absolutely no sense at all.”

Activist Shaun King, who has 1.1 million followers on Twitter, also tweeted about Dean before and after his arrest.

S. Lee Merritt, the attorney for Jefferson’s family, said the arrest was a relief for the family.

Jefferson’s brother, Adarius Carr, said the officer who killed his sister should be arrested at a press conference Monday.

Fort Worth activist Cory L. Hughes tweeted about the arrest Monday evening.

Kristen Clarke, President and Executive Director of the National Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law, tweeted that Dean should face prosecution for criminal and civil rights violations.

Before arrest

Prior to Dean’s arrest Monday night, activists were calling for him to be charged.

Mayor Betsy Price released a statement Monday after the Fort Worth police press conference.

“Justice is critical here – but it will not bring back the life of a young woman who was taken too soon. This is a pivotal moment in our city, and we will act swiftly with transparency,” she wrote.

State Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, encouraged the police department to conduct their investigation with transparency.

Color of Change, an online racial justice organization, also tweeted that Dean should be arrested.

Talk show host Bishop Talbert Swan tweeted his belief that Dean was allowed to resign, so he would not have a termination on his record.

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This story was originally published October 14, 2019, 6:41 PM.

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