Ex-police officer Aaron Dean, convicted of manslaughter in the fatal shooting of Atatiana Jefferson, was found to be unfit to be a police officer before he was hired, according to the Dallas Morning News. Unfortunately, he’s only one of a few examples of cops who kill Black people who should’ve never donned a badge.
This is why police reform should include a more thorough screening for cop candidates.
The jury’s decision followed the testimony of psychologist Kyle Clayton who evaluated Dean ahead of being hired by the Fort Worth Police Department. The tea is that Dean exhibited “grandiose, domineering and over-controlling” personality traits. In conclusion, Clayton found him unfit “psychologically” to serve and protect as an officer because his decision making - such as hastily shooting at Atatiana through a window—would be inhibited by narcissism and put people at risk.
Before we celebrate justice being served, let’s circle back to his diagnosis…because this isn’t the first time a crooked cop exhibited red flags before joining the line of duty. For the past few years we’ve been finding out far too late that the “bad apples” weren’t deserving of their jobs. Consider the “emotionally inept” cop who killed Tamir Rice in 2014, Timothy Loehmann.
More from NPR:
The Cleveland Plain Dealer explains that Loehmann failed to disclose the full circumstances of how his time at a previous police department ended:
“Loehmann was allowed to resign from the Independence department after six months following a series of incidents where supervisors determined he was unfit to be a police officer. The disciplinary letter cites a letter in Loehmann’s personnel file from Independence that says he was emotionally immature and had ‘an inability to emotionally function.’ The letter also cites an emotional breakdown Loehmann had on the gun range in Independence.”
The cop who shot and killed 17-year-old Antwon Rose II in 2018 in East Pittsburgh, Pa., Officer Michael Rosfeld, left his previous job as a cop on the University of Pittsburgh police force after being accused of making misleading statements in official reports. He later sued, arguing he was wrongfully terminated, but a judge dismissed his claim.
Six months later, he killed Rose just a few hours into what was literally his first patrol in East Pittsburgh. Although Rosfeld was found to have violated multiple policies and failed to disclose his troubling history with prior police departments, he was acquitted in Rose’s death.
Read more from The New York Times:
The Allegheny County district attorney, Stephen A. Zappala Jr., said that Officer Rosfeld had failed basic police procedures in the moments before Antwon was shot, gave statements to investigators that were contradicted by witnesses and had a troubling employment history with other police departments.
“I find that Rosfeld’s actions were intentional and they certainly brought about the result he was hoping to accomplish,” Mr. Zappala said at a news conference on Wednesday. “Unless you see a genuine threat, it’s inappropriate and in fact criminal to take someone’s life.”
The East Pittsburgh Police force was disbanded shortly after the Rose case was closed. Look at what one officer’s screw up did. We can only imagine what the conversations were before and following the hiring of all the other killer cops we know.