Officer Who Shot and Killed #AtatianaJefferson Resigns 'Before He Could Be Fired' Police Chief Says

Fort Worth Police Department Interim Chief Ed Kraus
Screenshot: CBS DFW

The Fort Worth, Texas police officer who shot and killed 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson in her mother’s home early Saturday morning resigned Monday.

Interim Chief Ed Kraus told reporters at a press conference Monday that former officer Aaron Dean tendered his resignation before he could be fired.

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Kraus said Dean was served a written administrative complaint on Sunday, placed on detached duty and stripped of his badge and firearm.

“My intent was to meet with him today to terminate his employment with the Fort Worth Police Department, however, the officer tendered his resignation this morning before we met.”

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Kraus said had Dean not resigned, “I would have fired him for violations of several policies including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional conduct.”

A statement outlining why Dean would have been fired had he not quit will be placed within the investigation records, and his separation paperwork—which is sent to the Texas Commission on Law Enforcement, the state licensing agency for police officers—will reflect that he was dishonorably discharged from the Fort Worth Police Department.

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Dean still faces criminal charges from the major case investigation, and Kraus said an update on that investigation will be given no later than tomorrow.

Dean killed Jefferson after responding to a wellness check call. A neighbor had called the police nonemergency number and asked for someone to check on the home because the front door was open and all the lights were on.

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Dean responded to the call but did not park his marked vehicle in front of the home. Bodycam footage released by the department showed Dean walk past the opened front door, around the side of the house, and into the backyard.

He approached a window of the home with his flashlight, yelled for Jefferson to show her hands and then fired one shot seconds later. Jefferson was pronounced dead at the scene.

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“Our officer-involved shooting incidents are investigated by both our major case unit—which investigates the criminal aspect of the case—and our internal affairs unit, which investigates administrative policy and training violations. These investigations occur concurrently but separately,” the interim chief said.

He said the investigations will continue as though Dean were still employed by the department.

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The department has also presented a preliminary case to the FBI to review Dean’s actions for possible civil rights violations.

“None of this information can ease the pain of Atatiana’s family, but I hope it shows the community that we take these incidents seriously,” Kraus said.

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About the author

Monique Judge

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.