FORT WORTH, Texas (KETK) – A former Fort Worth police officer charged with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson was released on bond less than fours after his arrest, according to a report from AP.
Aaron Dean, 34, was being held on $200,000 bond after being charged for shooting Jefferson while she was babysitting her nephew. On Monday, he resigned from the force, but would have been fired anyway.
Police body camera footage showed that Dean walked around the side of the house, pushed through a gate, and fired through a window just after shouting at Jefferson to show her hands.
In the video, Dean never identified himself as a police officer. He responded to the scene after a neighbor called 9-1-1 to perform a welfare check on the house.
Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said there was also no sign that he or the other officer involved even knocked on the front door.
Earlier Monday, Jefferson’s family demanded that the Department of Justice open an independent civil rights investigation and that the Fort Worth PD recuse itself from any investigation. A family attorney also said that it was a mystery why two days after the shooting, Dean had not yet been arrested.
“Why this man is not in handcuffs is a source of continued agitation for this family and for this community.”Lee Merritt, Family Attorney
Video from the body camera footage showed that Jefferson did have a gun, but Kraus said in Texas that shouldn’t be considered unusual.
“Most of us, if we thought we had somebody outside our house that shouldn’t be and we had access to a firearm, we would be acting very similarly to how she was acting.”
In the same press conference, Mayor Betsy Price said that the gun is “irrelevant” and called Jefferson a “victim.”
Texas has a law similar to “stand your ground” that gives strong legal protections for people using deadly force to protect themselves in their own homes.
This is the second high-profile police shooting to occur in the DFW metroplex in recent memory. Late in 2018, former Dallas officer Amber Guyger shot Botham Jean in his own home.
She was charged with murder and argued that she believed she was in her own apartment shooting a burglar.
Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison earlier this month.