THE KILLING OF ATATIANA JEFFERSON TELLS BLACKS WE’RE VULNERABLE TO POLICE VIOLENCE ANYWHERE

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[Racial Policing News]
These reckless police killings—and murders—of Black people continue with the silent complicity of politicians many of whom are now seeking Black America’s votes for the 2020 Elections while they do next to nothing to stop the bloodletting. Professional politicians remain largely deaf, dumb, and blind to these outrages. Most Black politicians exhibit their shameful cowardice with muzzled voices and are nowhere to be found on this issue.
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Must Black people now fear being killing in their homes by police like Atatiana Jefferson was on Saturday--less that two weeks after Amber Guyger was sentenced to ten years for killing Botham Jean in his home?

The murder of Atatiana Koquice Jefferson by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean—inside her home—is yet another example of the ongoing genocidal violence Blacks face in America at the hands of police.

Worse than that, it is a testament to the devaluation of Black lives by so-called “peace officers.”

These reckless police killings—and murders—of Black people continue with the silent complicity of politicians many of whom are now seeking Black America’s votes for the 2020 Elections while they do next to nothing to stop the bloodletting. Professional politicians remain largely deaf, dumb, and blind to these outrages. Most Black politicians exhibit their shameful cowardice with muzzled voices and are nowhere to be found on this issue.

What is it really going to take to make American politicians finally address police violence against Black people? How many more have to die before meaningful change happens?

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was shot, and killed by officer Aaron Dean from the Fort Worth Police Department, at 2:25 a.m. on Saturday, through her window. In disturbing body-cam footage, officer Dean fired within 2 seconds after shouting, from outside Jefferson’s home, "Put your hands up — show me your hands."

Officer Dean never identified himself as police before killing Jefferson who was babysitting for her sister. Jefferson’s killing happened less than two weeks after former police officer Amber Guyger was given a lenient sentence of ten years for recklessly killing Botham Jean inside his home. Guyger apparently drove to the wrong parking lot level of the apartment complex where both she and Jean lived—and then walked to his door, before entering it and killing him. She said she thought Jean was intruding in her home—which was on the floor beneath Jean.

If Black people can’t be safe from police in their own homes, that surely means Black people aren’t safe from police anywhere in America. The killing of Jefferson is just as disturbing as the killing of Botham Jean, even given the differing circumstances.

The events here unfolded after Jefferson’s neighbor, James Smith, said he called a police non-emergency number to report Jefferson’s door had been open for some hours. He said he wanted them to do a welfare check on the home. Mr. Smith is now blaming himself for the irresponsible actions of the police.

“If I had never dialed the police department, she'd still be alive,” James Smith, 62, told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. 'I'm shaken. I'm mad. I'm upset. And I feel it's partly my fault.”

But this is all the fault of officer Dean  who had no rational reason for firing into Jefferson’s window. The actions of the other Fort Worth officers who responded to this call should be examined as well. Several other officers were known to have been circling the house before Jefferson was shot.

Mr. Smith made a non-emergency call so why were these officers sneaking around the home as if they were responding to a call about a violent criminal incident? On the body-cam video, officer Dean fires without identifying himself as a police officer. But it is also clear none of the other officers identified themselves as police either. If just one of them had, wouldn’t Jefferson still be alive today?

Why didn’t any of these officers identify themselves? Could it be that when they get calls going to a Black residence their perceptions are always colored by their false conclusions regarding race?

The Fort Worth Police Department’s press release about this murder talked about officer Dean “perceiving a threat.” Wasn’t this perception tainted by the racist lens many police view Black people through?

There is something truly despicable, but not surprising, that the Forth Worth Police did in this press release. They talked about finding a “firearm” in the home, showing an image of the gun, but made no claim that it was found next to Jefferson’s dead body. Of course, if it was, they would’ve made sure they told us that.

So, why did they bother showing us this gun?

Isn’t this part of the typical strategy of police to criminalize dead Black victims and excuse the actions of their shoot first police officers? It is highly objectionable that in Texas an “open carry” state—where long guns can be carried without a permit—that the deceitful Fort Worth Police would seek to insinuate Jefferson may’ve been killed because a gun was present in the home.

Family lawyer, S. Lee Merritt, who also represented the Botham Jean family, denounced this attempt to criminalize Jefferson during a press conference on Saturday.

“It’s something the community has seen over and over again where the character of the victim gets called into question,” Merritt said. “There was nothing nefarious or illegal about owning a firearm and they presented in nowhere that firearm was contributory towards the use of deadly force here.

We’re always being told about the supposed “sanctity of the Second Amendment,” except for when police want to use an irrelevant firearm to justify their indefensible murderous conduct. The police penchant for perpetually lying and covering up for criminal cops has rendered them an untrustworthy institution to many Black Americans.

Not surprisingly, many in Fort Worth, including Atatiana Jefferson’s family, are asking for an independent investigative agency to step in here. That request is well warranted.

As this case moves forward, we will no doubt hear much about the “perceived threat” this officer faced. But local Fort Worth Pastor Michael Bell summed it up well Saturday, when he said, “Ain’t no ‘perceived threat’ — unless it’s Black folk. Just our presence — we’re the threat.”

Editor's Note: The Fort Worth Police Department has just announced that officer Aaron Dean who killed Atatiana Jefferson has just resigned. Officer Dean should be arrested.

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