Ex-officer was convicted of manslaughter for fatally taking pictures 28-year-old Black lady Atatiana Jefferson in her Texas house.
A former police officer within the southern US state of Texas has been sentenced to almost 12 years in jail for fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson, a Black lady, by means of the rear window of her house in 2019 after coming into her property unannounced.
On Tuesday, a jury sentenced 38-year-old Aaron Dean to 11 years and 10 months in jail after convicting Dean of manslaughter final Thursday. He had confronted a possible sentence of as much as 20 years in jail.
”Right now’s responsible verdict is one small step to delivering justice for Atatiana Jefferson and her household,” US Congressman Marc Veasey, who represents a Texas district, mentioned in a press release following the conviction final week.
“This verdict underscores the essential work that must be executed regionally and nationally to make sure a tragedy like this one doesn’t occur once more.”
Right now’s sentencing of Aaron Dean is one other step in the direction of justice and accountability within the homicide of Atatiana Jefferson. We should stay dedicated to enacting commonsense reforms that may forestall tragedies like this from persevering with to occur to communities of shade. https://t.co/UsxhMkizRT
— Rep. Marc Veasey (@RepVeasey) December 20, 2022
Whereas police killings of unarmed folks in america have drawn important consideration in recent times and spurred mass protests, the Texas trial led to a uncommon conviction of a police officer for killing somebody who additionally had a gun.
Dean, a police officer within the Texas metropolis of Fort Price on the time of the incident, fatally shot Jefferson, 28, after a neighbour known as a non-emergency police line stating that the entrance door to Jefferson’s house was open.
Jefferson had been taking part in video video games along with her eight-year-old nephew and had opened the door to let loose smoke from cooking a hamburger.
The trial revolved round whether or not Dean knew that Jefferson was armed.
Jefferson had pulled a gun out of her purse and aimed in the direction of the bed room window after listening to noises. Dean and fellow officer Carol Darch didn’t establish themselves once they arrived on the house and Dean, suspecting a housebreaking, moved into the fenced-off again yard along with his gun drawn.
Physique digital camera footage reveals him yelling at Jefferson, who’s inside, to point out her arms, then taking pictures her a split-second later.
Dean claimed that he had seen Jefferson’s weapon, however prosecutors maintained that proof confirmed in any other case.
Darch’s again was to the window when Dean shot, however she testified that he by no means talked about seeing a gun earlier than he pulled the set off and didn’t say something in regards to the weapon as they rushed in to look the home.
Dean testified that he had no selection however to shoot Jefferson as a result of she was pointing a gun at him, however acknowledged quite a few missteps and “unhealthy police work” earlier than the court docket. He additionally acknowledged that he had not talked about the gun and that he by no means gave Jefferson first assist.
The Forth Price Police Division, the place Dean was employed, shortly launched footage of the taking pictures and arrested Dean following an outpouring of public anger.
Deadly police shootings stay a persistent and contentious issue within the US, prompting protests and ongoing requires critical reforms to policing.
The police killing of George Floyd within the metropolis of Minneapolis, Minnesota, in 2020 set off demonstrations world wide demanding an finish to police violence and racism.
Former officer Derek Chauvin, who stored his knee on Floyd’s neck for greater than 9 minutes throughout the deadly incident, was sentenced to more than 22 years in jail final yr after being convicted of killing the unarmed 46-year-old.
The opposite officers concerned in Floyd’s demise even have obtained prison sentences of various lengths for violating Floyd’s civil rights.
The deadly taking pictures of Jefferson passed off seven months earlier than Floyd was killed.