Fort Worth Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus apologized at a press conference on Tuesday for the death of Atatiana Jefferson at the hand of officer Aaron York Dean. “First, I realize that no action we take could replace the loss suffered here. I’m deeply sorry for what occurred,” Kraus said. “I’ve received so many contacts from our officers, wanting to express how sorry they are as well, and how this is not indicative of the work they do everyday.” Dean shot Jefferson inside her home after a neighbor noticed her door was open and called police for a welfare check. Dean allegedly parked his police car around the corner from Jefferson’s home and fired at her through a window. The officers received inaccurate information from the dispatcher and believed they were responding to an “open structure call,” rather than a welfare check, according to Kraus.
The chief reiterated that officer Dean, who has resigned, was arrested on murder charges Monday at his attorney’s office. Hours after his arrest, Dean posted $200,000 bail and was released. “To the citizens and residents of our city: We understand your frustration and disappointment. I too am frustrated and disappointed,” Kraus said. “I ask you to please do not let the actions of one officer reflect on the other 1,700... Ms. Jefferson’s family and our community will have the last word.” Attorney Lee Merritt and Jefferson’s family also held a press conference on Tuesday. “There’s more accountability to be had,” Merrit said. “Who sent the equivalent of a SWAT team to respond to a wellness call in a black community? ... Former officer Dean is certainly responsible and should be held accountable, but so should the system that made a way for him.”