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A Fort Worth police officer urges cops to apologize for Atatiana Jefferson’s shooting death

A Fort Worth police detective said officers should apologize for Atatiana Jefferson’s death and acknowledge their role in police-involved shootings like hers.

In a Facebook post, Detective JC Williams said Jefferson was “unjustly killed and is a victim.”

“There are NOT two sides to this story and this is not an ‘us vs. them’ situation,” he wrote. “She, her nephew, the neighbor (are victims). These are the ones that any true cop feels for and wants to protect.”

Jefferson was shot dead through her window after a neighbor called a non-emergency number to report that her door was open. She’d been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew before on-duty officer Aaron Dean shot her, police said.

Dean resigned from the department and was charged with her murder. He’s refusing to cooperate with the investigation, according to his arrest warrant.

Williams said Fort Worth police should “own” the fact that a member of their department was responsible for her death.

“Our team screwed up,” he wrote. “Saying things like ‘There’s always one bad apple’ doesn’t help right now. Say ‘I’m sorry’ and because of this I will be better and take responsibility to make others better.”

He said he knows many cops have had to make quick, crucial decisions, but this is their chance to call out the wrong one.

“People won’t ever understand what you experience, but it doesn’t matter,” he wrote. “He got it wrong and we have to admit it and we can’t tolerate it.”

Jefferson was the seventh person shot and killed by police in the city this year

Relations with police were already tense in the city before Jefferson’s death. Hers was the ninth police-involved shooting in Fort Worth this year, and the seventh fatal one.

Distrust mounted at a city council meeting this week, when residents were removed after they yelled they didn’t feel safe and accused officials of not acknowledging the spate of fatal police shootings.

“People don’t trust cops that can’t be objective and just and be consistent with right and wrong,” Williams wrote. “This is our chance to say something is wrong and then continue to do what is right.”

CNN reached out to Williams and is waiting to hear back.

Fort Worth Police spokesperson Sgt. Chris Daniels said Williams’ statement “echoes the sentiment we all feel.”

“It’s an absolute tragedy for everyone involved and, as Chief (Ed) Kraus previously stated, there is no excuse for this to have happened and the person responsible will be held accountable,” he told CNN. “We strive to be better tomorrow than we are today.”

CNN

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