FORT WORTH, Texas – A date has been set for the trial of a former Fort Worth police officer who was charged with murder after shooting a Black woman through a back window of her home while responding to a call about an open front door in 2019.
Aaron Dean’s trial is scheduled to begin Nov. 16, more than two years after he shot 28-year-old Atatiana Jefferson during a late-night wellness check at her mother’s house. His case was among many delayed as the coronavirus pandemic caused courts across the country to postpone jury trials.
Dean, now 36, resigned from the city police force two days after shooting Jefferson. He was charged with murder and released on a $200,000 bond.
Following the shooting, Fort Worth police released body-camera footage that showed Dean walked around the side of the house, pushed through a gate into the fenced-off backyard and fired through a window a split-second after shouting at Jefferson to show her hands. Police went the house after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to report the front door was ajar.
Dean, who is white, was not heard identifying himself as police on the video. The city's police chief at the time, Ed Kraus, said that Dean acted without justification and that there was no sign he or the other officer who responded even knocked on the front door. Kraus said Dean would have been fired if he had not quit without giving a statement to investigators.
Dean’s attorney, Jim Lane, declined to comment, citing a gag order in the case. A lawyer for Jefferson’s family did not immediately respond to requests for comment.