Aaron Dean, Former Fort Worth Cop, Indicted in Murder of Atatiana Jefferson

The rare move by prosecutors comes after her shooting was captured by a bodycam.

vivalapenler/iStock

For indispensable reporting on the coronavirus crisis and more, subscribe to Mother Jones' newsletters.

Former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean was indicted by a grand jury for the murder of a 28-year-old Black woman named Atatiana Jefferson, the Tarrant County District Attorney’s office announced Friday, according to NBC News.

Jefferson was in her home babysitting her nephew when Dean, responding to a neighbor’s concern that Jefferson’s door was left ajar, shot and killed her. The Fort Worth Police Department released bodycam footage of the encounter. The video is only seconds long and shows Dean looking into a window with a flashlight, spotting Jefferson, saying “put your hands up!” and firing a single shot. Jefferson’s 8-year-old nephew, who witnessed the shooting, later said that she had taken out her own gun when she heard noises outside the home, suspecting someone was attempting to intrude.

The shooting came within one week of a horrifyingly similar story reaching its conclusion in nearby Dallas. Amber Guyger, a former police officer in the city, had been found guilty in October for killing a 26-year-old Black man named Botham Jean after mistaking his home for her own. She was sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Dean resigned from the police force days after the shooting, and was arrested a short time later.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

FACT:

Mother Jones was founded as a nonprofit in 1976 because we knew corporations and the wealthy wouldn't fund the type of hard-hitting journalism we set out to do.

Today, reader support makes up about two-thirds of our budget, allows us to dig deep on stories that matter, and lets us keep our reporting free for everyone. If you value what you get from Mother Jones, please join us with a tax-deductible donation today so we can keep on doing the type of journalism 2020 demands.

We Recommend

Latest

Sign up for our newsletters

Subscribe and we'll send Mother Jones straight to your inbox.

Get our award-winning magazine

Save big on a full year of investigations, ideas, and insights.

Subscribe

Support our journalism

Help Mother Jones' reporters dig deep with a tax-deductible donation.

Donate

We have a new comment system! We are now using Coral, from Vox Media, for comments on all new articles. We'd love your feedback.