Shaun King: Justice For Atatiana Jefferson

Dismiss

Hey Good Morning Everybody!

I’ve got a lot I hope to update you on so let’s jump right in.

On this Saturday morning, Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean shot and killed 28 year old Atatiana Jefferson from outside of her own bedroom window as she was playing video games with her 8 year old nephew Zion.

Over the past 24 hours, we’ve had so many updates on this case and I hope to break them all down for you now.

First, as you may have heard, her neighbor called a non-emergency police line to simply report that her front door was open. Now she had a screen door, but her neighbors, who meant well, just thought it was out of the ordinary. We learned yesterday that the family had just opened the doors and windows on Friday night to let the cool air blow through the house. It wasn’t deep. If you live in Texas, you know when the seasons change, you just cut the air conditioner off and the breeze cool your home sometimes. That’s all that was going on.

But as we know, to be Black in America is to be punished with death for the most simple actions imaginable.

Yesterday morning we learned from the Mayor of Fort Worth and the Chief of Police that Aaron Dean was allowed to resign before he was fired. The Chief claims Aaron Dean quit before he had the chance to fire him, but he should’ve fired him the moment he saw the video. The whole damn nation knew it was wrong. At the moment the Chief knew he needed to fire the officer, he should’ve done it.

I will say that both the Chief of Police and the Mayor said many things that seemed good on their face. They apologized to the family. They openly stated that Officer Aaron Dean violated multiple department policies and laws. They apologized for trying to defame the character of Atatiana Jefferson by erroneously saying she had a gun in the room nearby.

But it’s hard to trust this department. They are one of the most brutal police departments in the nation.

Soon after their press conference, it was indeed announced that Aaron Dean was being charged with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson and that he had been arrested and was in the Tarrant County jail, but here again, it’s hard to feel good or have hope in the Tarrant County DA – Republican Sharen Wilson.

This is the same woman who charged a Fort Worth mother named Crystal Mason with voter fraud and sent her to prison for five years over it.

I had a chance to speak to the family late last night, and to their attorney, Lee Merritt, and they had some tiny measure of relief that the officer had been charged, but here’s the thing – people just want their loved ones to be alive.

Yes, charge this officer. Yes, convict this officer. Yes, send this man to jail, but what this family wants is for their sister, their Aunt, their daughter to be alive.

What is justice? Justice traditionally means a balancing of the scales.

That’s why the Old Testament said an eye for an eye, a limb for a limb, but families are tired of calling for arrests, it’s not enough.

Already, this morning, I just learned minutes ago that Aaron Dean has already bonded out of jail and is back home, safe and secure his family while the whole family of Sister Jefferson has to deal with their devastation.

They have to deal with the fact that an 8 year old boy saw this whole thing. They have to deal with the fact that their baby girl was murdered inside of their home. All of these things are traumatic.

I’ve gotta run, but I want to take a moment to thank the 7,000+ people, including so many of our listeners, who donated to the GoFundMe for this family. God bless you for that. I know money is tight and we’re grateful that you made room in your budget to show them some love.

Funeral arrangements are being made now, and we’re hearing the funeral could be at the Potter’s House with Bishop Jakes, but we’ll know more very soon.

I’ll close with this thought. I’ve sensed something very different over the past few days. People are tired. Our nerves frayed. We’ve been pushed too far for too long. And people are at wit’s end.

I’m going to keep following this case closely, and will update us again as I can.

Take care everybody.

Also On Black America Web:
The Ten Most Interesting Little Known Black History Facts
10 photos