Former Cop Who Killed Atatiana Jefferson Found Guilty Of Manslaughter

Over three years after shooting and killing Atatiana Jefferson in her home, on Thursday former Fort Worth, Tex. police officer Aaron Dean was found guilty of manslaughter.

While Dean was on trial for murder, jurors found he was guilty of the lesser charge of manslaughter, and he now faces up to 20 years in prison from the Oct. 12, 2019 incident.

The case hinged on whether Dean shot Jefferson in self-defense after his attorneys argued that he only shot Jefferson after seeing her pointing a gun directly at him. However, his police partner at the time, Carol Darch, testified that Dean never mentioned seeing a gun during the incident nor did he mention it as they rushed to search the house.

As per bodycam footage, neither officer identified themselves as police when they arrived at Jefferson’s home. Her nephew, who was 8 years old at the time, was also in the home when police shot his aunt. He testified that Jefferson took out her gun after believing there was an intruder on her property.

The trial began last week, and the jury deliberated over two days.

Ahead of Dean’s conviction, there were concerns about potential bias, as the jury didn’t include any Black jurors. However, the they seemed to be convinced by the evidence. As the AP reports, “under questioning from prosecutors [Dean] acknowledged numerous errors, again and again conceding that actions he took before and after the shooting were ‘more bad police work.’”

Jefferson’s family has been organizing a fundraiser on her behalf. “Since her murder her siblings have fought to keep Atatiana’s legacy alive Ange get her justice at great personal expense,” a GoFundMe page reads. Ashley Carr, Atatiana’s sister, is credited as the organizer. “The Atatiana Project provides tech training to kids like Zion– Tay’s nephew,” the page continues. “Tay’s family has refused quick settlements and are fighting Atatiana’s case vigorously in Federal Court. Her siblings have traversed the state of Texas and has gone as far as the Whitehouse and the seat of the United States Congress to demand justice for Atatiana.”

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