US officer kills black woman inside her home after welfare call

Al Jazeera 1 month ago

A black woman has been fatally shot in the United States by a white officer inside her home early on Saturday after police were called to the residence for a welfare check, authorities said.

The shooting in Forth Worth, Texas, occurred after a neighbour called the police non-emergency line to report that the front door to the home was open, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

In body camera video released by police, two officers search the home from the outside with flashlights before one shouts, "Put your hands up, show me your hands." One shot is then fired through a window.

Police said in a statement that the woman was pronounced dead at the scene. The Tarrant County Medical Examiner's Office identified her as 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson. 

The officer does not identify himself as police in the video. Police said the officer, who's been on the force since April 2018, was placed on administrative leave pending the outcome of an investigation.

Officials have not released the officer's name.  

In the statement, police said the responding officers saw a person near the window inside the home. The officer fired the single shot after "perceiving a threat," the statement said. The bodycam video also included images of a gun inside the residence, but it's unclear if the firearm was found near the woman.

Neighbour James Smith, who initially called police, told the Star-Telegram he was just trying to be a good neighbour.

"I'm shaken. I'm mad. I'm upset. And I feel it's partly my fault," Smith said. "If I had never dialed the police department, she'd still be alive."

Smith said Jefferson and her 8-year-old nephew typically lived with an older woman, who's been in the hospital. "It makes you not want to call the police department," the neighbour said.

Local activists held a press conference on Saturday, asking the city to hold the officer who fired the shot accountable. Pastor BR Daniels Jr said he wants the police department to stop what he called "shooting first, asking questions later". 

"We want a review of policy, procedures. How do you storm a house, kill a young lady, with an 8-year-old minor in the house, who could have been killed himself," Daniels said.

Many took to social media to express their grief and call for accountability. 

Authorities said the bodycam footage was released soon after the shooting to provide transparency, but any video taken inside the house could not be distributed due to state law.

The shooting comes less than two weeks after a white former Dallas police officer was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing her black neighbour inside his own apartment. Amber Guyger said during her trial that mistook Botham Jean's apartment for her own, which was one floor below Jean's.

Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder for Jean's September 2018 death.


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The New York Times › 1 month ago
Authorities in Texas say a black woman was fatally shot by a white officer inside her Fort Worth home after police were called to the residence for a welfare check.
ABC News › Incident › 1 month ago
Authorities in Texas say a black woman was fatally shot by a white officer inside her Fort Worth home after police were called to the residence for a welfare check.
USA Today › 1 month ago
A black woman was fatally shot by a white officer inside her Fort Worth home after police were called to the residence for a welfare check.
Fox News › 1 month ago
A black Texas woman was shot and killed by a white Fort Worth police officer who was called to the woman's home for a welfare check, authorities said.
The Daily Beast › Incident › 1 month ago
Brendan Smialowski/AFP/GettyA white Texas police officer fatally shot a black woman inside her own home early Saturday morning after a neighbor who’d noticed her door was open requested a welfare check, authorities said. Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was...
Evening Standard › 1 month ago
A black woman was fatally shot by a white officer inside her home after police were called to the residence to check on her welfare.
Fox News › 1 month ago
A black Texas woman was shot and killed by a white Fort Worth police officer who was called to the woman's home for a welfare check, authorities said.
Fox News › 1 month ago
A black Texas woman was shot and killed by a white Fort Worth police officer who was called to the woman's home for a welfare check, authorities said.
Washington Examiner › 1 month ago
A white police officer fatally shot a black woman in her home while responding to a concerned neighbor's call about her front door being open.
Business Insider › Lifestyle › 1 month ago
A white police officer fatally shot a black woman inside her own home on Saturday after they received a call about her open door, the Fort Worth Police Department said. Authorities released body-camera footage showing that the officer approached her...
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