Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in her own home by former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean on Oct. 12. Since then, the city has truly failed in making the changes they promised. Now the city has failed again by officially hiring the chief who dropped the ball on the Jefferson case.
Ed Kraus, who was the interim police chief during the Jefferson shooting, is now fulfilling that role permanently, according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. The 52-year-old told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram, “I feel like this is where God put me for now. I’ll serve as long as I can and do the best job I can.”
Kraus being hired is certainly peculiar considering he waited days before firing Dean, but blamed it on he wasn’t cooperating. Back in October, Police Chief Ed Kraus said during a press conference that Dean “resigned before his opportunity to cooperate.” Kraus said he planned to fire Dean before finding out he quit. Dean was released on bond after spending fewer than four hours in jail.
Kraus fired him on a Monday but it was unclear why Krause did not fire him on Saturday or Sunday. Dean was apparently never even interviewed about the shooting before being placed on paid administrative leave.
Six people have been shot by the Fort Worth police since June — four of them being Black. As the attorney for the Jefferson family said, Lee Merrit, “Accountability in Fort Worth is the long game.”
Aaron Dean has been arrested. It’s a good start. He’s a bad apple. But don’t forget the bunch … it’s bad too (7 fatal police shootings in under 6 months) And who are picking these apples. There’s blood on their hands too. Accountability in Fort Worth is the long game.
Sadly, this isn’t shocking considering Mayor Betsy Price blamed Jefferson’s killing on a “rookie” mistake. Dean was only on the force for 18 months. She also said there is no systemic problem or culture of racism in the majority white police department.
There have been calls for her to step down, which she responded with, “I think that everybody’s entitled to their own opinion,” Price said. See the interview below:
On early Saturday morning, Oct. 12, an officer responded because a concerned neighbor requested a wellness check. Atatiana Jefferson died about 2:30 a.m. local time, after an officer killed her in her own home by shooting his gun through a window. Jefferson was reportedly playing video games with her nephew.
Bodycam footage showed that Jefferson was shot within four seconds of the officer arriving.
Atatiana Jefferson’s father, Marquis Jefferson, died on Nov. 9. He suffered a heart attack at only 59 years old.