More than a year after the death of Atatiana Jefferson, the Fort Worth, Texas, woman killed by police in her own home, her family has filed a lawsuit against the city and the police officer responsible for her death.
According to Courthouse News Service, Jefferson’s family has sued the city of Fort Worth and former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean for her wrongful death that took place at her home on October 11, 2019. The lawsuit is seeking compensatory and punitive damages.
Jefferson, who was 28 at the time of her death, was playing video games with her nephew when the incident took place. Her neighbor, who noticed Jefferson’s front door was open, had notified police out of concern for her neighbor.
Jerome Eschor, Arita Eschor, and Venitta Body—relatives of Jefferson—have claimed that Dean, who is White, failed to identify himself as a police officer and headed directly into her backyard as opposed to using the front door when he answered the 911 call from her neighbor. In the lawsuit, filed Friday, Jefferson’s family seeks compensatory and punitive damages for excessive force, assault, battery, and supervisory liability.
“Dean, immediately, within seconds of seeing the resident inside of her home, shot her dead through a window of the home,” the 17-page complaint reads. “Defendant Dean in his prowl around the backyard of her home, caused Atatiana fear and uncertainty…Dean failed to render medical aide to Atatiana.”
Dean resigned from the force two days after he killed Jefferson and was later arrested. Last December, a grand jury indicted him on a murder charge. Dean is scheduled to stand trial sometime in the new year.
According to CNN, the lawsuit accuses the city and the former officer of being “deliberately indifferent to protecting Atatiana Carr a/k/a Atatiana Jefferson from harm by systematically failing to provide adequate training and supervision to its officers, uphold Atatiana Carr a/k/a Atatiana Jefferson’s constitutional rights, and providing urgently needed medical care.
“Defendants acted with high disregard for the rights of others, and their conduct was extreme and unreasonable under the circumstances,” the complaint reads.