A trial date has been set for the former Fort Worth police officer accused of fatally shooting Atatiana Jefferson.
On Tuesday (Nov. 16), Judge David Hagerman moved Aaron Dean’s murder trial to January 4, 2022. The trial was originally set to begin this month, but was delayed due to the pandemic. Motions for the case will be heard on Dec. 6, 2021.
Back in 2019, Jefferson was shot and killed by Officer Dean through her bedroom window as she played video games with her 8-year-old nephew. He responded to a call from Jefferson’s neighbor who claimed that her front door was wide open.
Jefferson reportedly grabbed her firearm and had gotten up to look out the window when she was shot. She died at the scene as her nephew watched.
Police said that Dean’s body camera footage showed that he did not identify himself before taking fire. He reportedly looked into the window and yelled, “Put your hands up, show me your hands,” before firing his gun.
A few days after the shooting, Dean, who resigned before he could be terminated from the department, was arrested and charged with murder for Jefferson’s death. He was later released on a $200,000 bond.
Last November, members of Jefferson’s family filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fort Worth and Dean. The suit alleged that the city inadequately trains its police force and “knew or should have known that Defendant Aaron Dean exhibited a pattern of escalating encounters with the public.” One of Dean’s past performance reviews said he had “poor communication skills” and “tunnel vision.”
Earlier this year, Ashley Carr, Jefferson’s sister, filed a $10 million wrongful death lawsuit against Dean, Mayor Betsy Price, retired police Chief Ed Kraus and the city of Fort Worth. The litigation alleges that Fort Worth failed to accurately train and discipline its police and that Kraus and Price “knew of the failures of the Fort Worth Police Department … but failed to take the necessary steps to rectify the failures and adequately protect the constitutional rights of the people of Fort Worth.”