Fort Worth Police Officer Who Fatally Shot Atatiana Jefferson is Charged With Murder

Former Fort Worth officer Aaron Dean.
Tarrant County Jail

The Fort Worth, Texas, police officer who fatally shot a woman while she was babysitting her nephew over the weekend was charged with murder on Monday, jail records show.

Former officer Aaron Dean was being held at the Tarrant County Correction Center, the records show.

The arrest came just hours after Dean’s resignation from the police force. Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a press conference that he intended to end Officer Aaron Dean’s employment, but that Dean tendered his resignation first.

Dean, who joined the department in April 2018, still faces possible civil rights violations, Kraus said.

“Had the officer not resigned, I would have fired him for violations for several policies, including our use of force policy, our de-escalation policy and unprofessional conduct,” Kraus added.

Dean was initially placed on administrative leave following the killing of victim Atatiana Jefferson, 28. He has not been cooperating with investigators in the case, and Kraus said.

It wasn’t clear if Dean has a lawyer. The Fort Worth Police Officers Association did not immediately respond to a request for a comment.

A lawyer for Jefferson’s family, Lee Merritt, said her relatives were “relieved” over the arrest.

“We need to see this through to a vigorous prosecution & appropriate sentencing,” he tweeted. “The City of Fort Worth has much work to do to reform a brutal culture of policing.”

In a separate news conference earlier Monday, Jefferson’s family demanded an outside investigation into her death.

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SOURCE: NBC News, Elizabeth Chuck and Tim Stelloh