Christian leaders have expressed their dismay and outrage after a Forth Worth, Texas, officer shot and killed a black woman inside a home where she had been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson was killed by a single shot from a police officer who fired through a window into the home while responding to a call to check on those inside, police said in a statement. The unidentified officer has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation by the police department and the Tarrant County District Attorney’s Office, police said.
The incident began when neighbour James Smith called the Fort Worth police around 2.00 AM one morning. “I called because I was concerned for my neighbours,” Smith said, noting that it was “not normal” for their doors to be open and for the lights to be on at such a late hour. “I witnessed three or four tactical officers come from around the corner and in less than a minute, I heard gun shots.” Body camera footage shows the officer outside the home, peering inside a window using a flashlight. After spotting someone standing inside near a window, he yells, “Put your hands up,” before shooting seconds later. At no point does he identify himself as an officer.
Jefferson’s nephew said they had left the door open while playing “Halo” in order to enjoy the breeze, according to S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for Jefferson’s family. When they heard someone outside, Jefferson went to the window to see who was there. The nephew told Merritt that they heard a man’s voice shouting something and then his aunt was shot. Jefferson’s death comes just weeks after Amber Guyger, a police officer in nearby Dallas, was found guilty of murder for fatally shooting of 26-year-old Botham Jean while he ate ice cream in his home in 2018.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who represents Jefferson’s family, described her as a hard-working and loving woman who cared for her family. “She was a graduate of Xavier University and very close to her family. She was the auntie that stayed up at night playing video games with her 8 year old nephew.” “Her mum had recently been very sick, so she was home taking care of the house. There was no reason for her to be murdered.” A number of Christian leaders expressed their heartbreak over the shooting and issued calls for justice. Bible teacher Beth Moore called Jefferson’s killing “outrageous.” “What continues to go on in this nation in regard to Black Americans is madness.”
Source: Christian Post