The Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson in her own home over the weekend has been booked on a murder charge.
The news of Dean’s murder charge hit just hours after the 34-year-old officer had resigned from the police department before he could be fired.
Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said that he intended to fire the officer, who was also scheduled to be interviewed on Monday morning about the shooting death, but Dean resigned “before his opportunity to be cooperative.”
Kraus noted that Dean would have been terminated for violating the police policy on use of force, de-escalation and professional conduct, stressing that he too – like many in the community – is demanding a thorough investigation.
“We received many calls from the community expressing their concerns and demands,” he said. “I assure you as chief for this department I share those concerns and I demand a thorough, transparent and speedy investigation. This will not be an opportunity for us to make excuses but rather to investigate this case to the fullest, to provide the justice we all seek for Atatiana.”
Civil rights attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Jefferson’s family called the murder charge a “step in the right direction.”
Merritt also called the department out, saying that there was a need for “serious systematic reform”
“I want to go ahead and dispel the myth that this is somehow a one-off — that this was just a bad-luck incident from an otherwise sound department,” he said. “The Fort Worth Police Department is on pace to be one of the deadliest police departments in the United States.”