Aaron Dean, the former Fort Worth police officer who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson in 2019, was found guilty of manslaughter last week and received a sentence of 11 years and 10 months in jail.
In 2019, a neighbour requested a health check at Jefferson’s mother’s house, where Jefferson was minding her grandson, by calling a non-emergency police number. A 38-year-old white policeman named Aaron Dean responded to the report and opened fire on Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, through the window. Days later, before the police chief could dismiss Dean for breaking the use of force and de-escalation rules, he announced his resignation from the Fort Worth Police Department.
When Jefferson was slain, her 8-year-old nephew was in her room. They had played video games all night long. She testified in court last week at the age of 11.
Who is Aaron Dean?
Aaron Dean was given an 11 years, 10 months, and 12 day sentence by a Tarrant County jury following a day of character evidence and more than 13 hours of deliberation.
On December 15, Dean was found guilty of manslaughter in connection with the killing of Atatiana Jefferson in 2019.
Numerous witnesses from the defence and prosecution testified in front of the jury. The jury reached a decision on Tuesday after more than 13 hours of discussion.
When Judge George Gallagher read the jury’s verdict on Tuesday, Dean showed no emotion after learning he could spend more than a decade in prison. Dean will be eligible for parole once half his sentence is served.
Following the ruling, several members of Jefferson’s family approached Dean. “It was a beautiful flower that was just starting to bloom, and she was cut senseless,” Jefferson’s sister Ashley Carr said in a victim impact statement. “I am here today on behalf of my mother who spent her last days on earth overwhelmed with grief and grief.”
Jefferson’s mother, Yolanda Carr, and her father, the Marquis Jefferson, died before Dean was convicted.
Jefferson’s desire to become a doctor were mentioned by his family. She had attended and graduated from Louisiana’s Xavier University.
The incident occurs less than two weeks after Amber Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, was given a 10-year jail term for killing Botham Jean, 26, at her Dallas home. Guyger said he entered Jean’s apartment, which was on the same floor as his, thinking it was his own, and then shot and murdered him.
Despite being found guilty of manslaughter, Dean was given a lengthier jail term than Guyger. Manslaughter is punishable by a jail term of two to twenty years under the Texas Penal Code.
The deaths of Jefferson and Jean prompted demands for justice in regard to how black Americans were treated by the police. A white Minneapolis police officer murdered a black man named George Floyd seven months after Dean shot Jefferson, setting off a worldwide outcry against police violence.