Aaron Dean, a Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who shot to death a Black woman during what was supposed to be a wellness check, has resigned from the police department.
Interim Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus named Dean and announced his resignation this morning during a Monday morning news conference. Later in the day, Dean was arrested and charged with murder in the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson .
Dean shot to death Atatiana Jefferson, 28, on Saturday by firing a gun through the bedroom window of her mother’s home. Jefferson died at the scene. Kraus said he intended to fire Dean, but he submitted his resignation. Dean faces criminal charges as well as possible civil rights violations and “no longer has the protections of state civil service law,” Kraus said.
The department had placed Dean on administrative leave following the shooting. Dean had been a member of the Fort Worth police department since April 2018.
Dean never identified himself as a police officer and he never knocked on Jefferson’s door to learn if she was okay, Kraus said.
Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew when the deadly shooting occurred. A neighbor called the police to make a wellness check because the front door was open.
Lee Merritt, the attorney for the Jefferson family, said the door was left open to cool down the house.
Jefferson graduated from Xavier University in New Orleans, with a BS degree in biology and was planning to apply for medical school.
Joshua Brown, a key witness in the murder trial of Amber Guyger, was found shot to death
The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund is pushing for an independent investigation into the murder of Joshua Brown, a key witness in the recent trial of Amber Guyger, a former Dallas cop, who shot to death Botham Jean and was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his murder.
In another development, Dallas police on Tuesday produced Avery L. Moore, assistant chief for investigation and tactical, to refute LDF’s assertions. Moore is Black and because of this, his comments may seem more believable to some Blacks and some whites. Police, however, have a history of planting evidence and using unreliable jailhouse informants to solve cases and win convictions. CNN first broke the story and other networks, including NPR quickly followed.
Moore claims Brown was murdered during a botched drug deal involving three other men. One of the men who was wounded has been hospitalized. The other two men are on the run, Moore said. Police raided Brown’s apartment, and they claimed they found large quantities of drugs and cash.
Moore’s announcement attempts to blunt wide-spread speculation that police assassinated Brown because the department’s initial reaction was to protect Guyger by using Dallas area media to smear Jean, an accountant. Moore alluded to the speculation without being specific during a news conference.
The media depicted Jean as a drug addict. Jean used medical marijuana to treat symptons of Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder or ADHD.
It remains to be seen if the Dallas Police Department is believed because of the long history of bad blood between the police and the black community. The LDF is calling for a federal investigation, which reflects the sentiment of Dallas’s black residents.
An unknown assailant or assailants shot to death Brown in the parking lot of a Dallas apartment building. His body was found Friday. Brown died of multiple gunshot wounds.
“The circumstances surrounding the murder of Mr. Brown cries out for answers. Most importantly, it demands an independent investigation of how and why he was killed,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s president and Director-Counsel. “We urge state or federal authorities to follow the trail of misconduct left by this case and fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown’s death. “ Dallas police attempted to protect Guyger by shutting off her camera attached to her uniform.
Brown, who lived in the apartment across the hall from Jean and could hear him singing gospel every morning, contradicted Guyer’s testimony. Guyger mistakenly went into Jean’s fourth-floor apartment located in the South Side Flats building, believing it was hers.
Guyger’s apartment is directly below Jean’s. Jean was sitting on the couch watching television and eating vanilla ice cream. When Guyer entered the apartment, not noticing it was not hers, she testified Jean did not obey her commands.
The deadly shooting occurred September 6, 2018.
But Brown, who was listening through his apartment door’s peephole, testified that he never heard Guyger issue any commands, according to LDF. “His testimony was critical to Officer Guyger’s conviction, including establishing that officer Guyger did not shout verbal commands or warnings before shooting Botham Jean,” LDF said.
The murder of Botham Jean has raised troubling concerns from the beginning of the investigation, and now the deeply alarming and highly suspicious murder of Joshua Brown increases the urgency of an immediate, independent investigation of every aspect of these tragic killings, the LDF said in statement issued Sunday.
Like LDF, Lee Merritt, Brown’s family attorney, is also calling for an independent investigation of his client’s deadly shooting,