NAACP Legal Defense Fund calls for investigation into Fort Worth police

by | Oct 14, 2019 | Criminal Justice, Social Justice

Protestors and activists are demanding answers from Fort Worth Police after an officer shot and killed an unarmed 28-year-old black woman in her home.

Atatiana Jefferson was shot to death Saturday morning after she was given only three to four seconds to comply with an officer’s demands who made an announced welfare check to Jefferson’s home at around 2:30 a.m.

Police arrived to check up on her home after a neighbor called police concerned about an open door. Multiple officers responded and searched around the outside of Jefferson’s home. Video footage shows one officer shooting Jefferson through a bedroom window after yelling, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” 

The officer, who has not yet been named and has been placed on administrative leave, fired one shot that killed Jefferson.

“The officer did not announce that he was a police officer prior to shooting,” Fort Worth police spokesman Lt. Brandon O’Neil said during a Sunday press conference. “What the officer observed and why he did not announce police will be addressed as the investigation continues.”

Jefferson had been playing video games with her nephew before she was killed. She went to go investigate what she thought was a prowler in the backyard, according to the family’s attorney Lee Merritt. 

Since the shooting, many critics and activists have demanded answers from police. 

“The Fort Worth police murdered this woman. They murdered this woman in her own house,” said Rev. Michael Bell, a local pastor who joined a group of community leaders on Saturday. “And now, African Americans, we have no recourse. If we call the police, they will come and kill us. And we know that.”

On Monday, the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund called for a federal investigation into Jefferson’s shooting, as well as others that occurred recently. “We are deeply saddened and angered at the preventable loss of yet another innocent Black life—especially in light of the policies that, had they been adhered to, could have prevented the killing of Atatiana Jefferson,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, President and Director-Counsel of the NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Funs in a statement.

Photo: Screenshot/Facebook | + posts

Fernando covers Texas politics and government at the Texas Signal. Before joining the Signal, Fernando spent two years at the Houston Chronicle and previously interned at Houston’s NPR station News 88.7. He is a graduate of the University of Houston, Jack J. Valenti School of Communication, and enjoys reading, highlighting things, and arguing on social media. You can follow him on Twitter at @fernramirez93 or email at

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