Cop Peforming A Welfare Check Kills Woman By Shooting Her Through Her Own Backyard Window
from the it-does-not-get-any-more-wtf-than-this dept
I’m really not sure what to tell anyone at this point. None of this works.
The Talk is akin to a rite of passage for many African-American children, especially boys and young men. Essentially, they are taught how to behave in the presence of police to mitigate potential harm: no sudden movements, don’t question why you’re being stopped, comply with all verbal commands, never raise your voice.
Make it home alive.
Firing through a window, a white Fort Worth officer fatally shot a black woman inside her home early Saturday after police were called to the house because its doors were open, according to police and the neighbor who summoned them.
Atatiana Jefferson, 28, died in a bedroom, according to the Tarrant County Medical Examiner’s Office.
I guess we have to give the Fort Worth (TX) police department some credit. The body camera footage of the shooting was released quickly. It doesn’t cover everything — like the search of the house following the killing of Atatiana Jefferson. Nor has the PD released the name of the officer who pulled the trigger.
What the footage shows is chilling.
A call to a non-emergency line from a neighbor set this in motion. The neighbor was concerned because lights were on and doors were open at 2 a.m., which the neighbor apparently felt was unusual.
There was nothing to be concerned about. Jefferson was simply up late playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. But the cops rolled in like something ultra-suspicious was happening. And they behaved pretty suspiciously themselves.
Rather than approach the front screen door — which was closed (the inside door was open) — they took a quick peek through the door before quietly moving past the garage and into the backyard. At no point did the officers identify themselves or attempt to make their presence known.
The only thing any officer said was “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” This was delivered by the officer who spotted Jefferson through her window as she (most likely) began moving in their direction to figure out who was in her backyard. The shot that killed Jefferson was fired before the second shouted sentence was complete. Jefferson was given no time to comply with the officer’s commands. She never even made it outside of her house. Instead, she was killed by a bullet fired by a cop who didn’t identify himself — a bullet fired from outside her house through her back window.
Any credit given the Fort Worth PD can be rescinded. The release of the camera footage promised transparency. The statements accompanying this release are nothing more than the department’s attempts to exonerate itself.
Perceiving a threat, the officer drew his duty weapon and fired one shot striking the person inside the residence…
A person, legally in their own home, approached by strangers in her backyard who never tried to make contact with her or identify themselves as police officers: this is the person the officer “perceived” as a “threat.” How the fuck can anyone survive this mentality? The police were the intruders. They moved like intruders, sneaking around the house and into the backyard instead of approaching the front door or making any attempt to contact the residents of the home.
All the officer saw was someone moving around. He shouted and fired almost simultaneously. “Comply!” the officer
shouted shot. You can’t comply if you’re not given a chance. A “perceived threat” might turn out to be something else, if officers would actually give people time to comply with commands (and hand out coherent commands).
The PD continues:
Officers entered the residence locating the individual and a firearm and began providing emergency medical care.
It is legal to own a gun in Texas. The freeze frames provided by the PD show a gun on the floor. The implicit suggestion is Jefferson was carrying it when she was shot. Still perfectly legal if she was. She was in her home. But there’s no explicit statement saying Jefferson was carrying a gun when she was shot. And nothing in the body cam footage suggests the officer could have discerned whether Jefferson was carrying a gun in the four seconds it took for him to shout two short sentences and issue one instant death sentence.
The PD helpfully detailed the “threat” the officer perceived and it’s every bit as ridiculous and sickening as you think it is:
Police said that the officer, who joined the department in April 2018, saw a person standing inside the house near a window.
Not a person with a gun. Just a person. This act is so normal, no one can prevent being perceived as a threat, if an officer approaches a house expecting to be threatened. What is threatening to officers like this one?
A person standing inside a house near a window.
A person standing inside a house.
You can’t win. You can’t even get on the field.