The Urban philosophers NWA said it best: “911 is a joke!”
On the heels of reeling from the murder of Botham Jean, and the buck-Uncle Tom-Mammy ring that went viral, we have the murder of Atatiana Jefferson.
In her mother’s house.
With her nephew.
Playing video games.
By. The. Police.
It redundant seems redundant to remind the waking world that murder by police officer is the leading cause of death for young Black men. It’s redundant to remind you Texas is an open carry state. It seems so redundant to ask why officers in these situations never seem to remember to identify themselves.
It is redundant to keep asking for oversight for law enforcement!
As of this posting the officer’s name has not been released. As of this posting, this Fort Worth police officer has resigned. As of posting, the 62-year old neighbor that called the police I’d second guessing his decision to have called the police for a welfare check: he called because the door was open.
How fitting that an open door lead to the response on broken window policing could give.
The Texas Tribune quotes this neighbor:
Jefferson’s neighbor, 62-year-old James Smith asked for a wellness check after noticing the woman’s door was open, something he found unusual. Smith told the Washington Post he feels he’s partially to blame for Jefferson’s death because if he hadn’t made the call, Jefferson would be alive.
“It makes you not want to call the police department. Because not just Dallas or other incidents, if you don’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?” Smith said. “Do you just ignore crime or ignore something that’s not right? They tell you if you see something, say something. Well if you do that and you cause somebody to lose their life it makes you not want to do that and that’s sad.”
It’s sad because he’s right!
It’s sad because it’s true!
It’s sad because this keeps happening!
We have come to an impasse with law enforcement, as an entire minority community. The nation is seeing our fears played out in front of media outlets. The entire world is seeing why Black people fear the police.
No longer will we answer the question of how this happened or why this happened or what did they do!
The answer is the same as it ever was—nothing. Just exist. James Baldwin says it this way: “America doesn’t know what to do with its Negro problem.” This is a lawful extermination of my people at the hired hands of those who protect and serve.
I need someone to me, who exactly is the protected and who do they serve. Fort Worth Police Department are circling wagons, protecting their officer and the integrity of the department. They haven’t explained how they handle welfare checks or why the officer didn’t identify himself.
Atatiana got up because she saw a someone outside her window and went to see who it was.
It was the police.
The door was open. He could have knocked. And announced himself. And no one would be dead. There would be one less Black child traumatized. One less mother crying. One more empty grave.
In the words of our patron saint, Ida B. Wells Barnett, “Those who do the murders write the reports.”
Late Smoke: As of 8:00PM CST on 10/14/2019, Fort Worth Police Department Officer Aaron Dean, has reigned and been charged with the murder of Atatiana Jefferson.