*Relatives of Atatiana Jefferson have filed a wrongful death lawsuit against the city of Fort Worth, Texas, and the former officer charged in her death.
The 28-year-old Black woman was fatally shot by ex-cop Aaron Dean in her home through a window. We previously reported, Dean was indicted in December by a Texas grand jury after he was charged with Jefferson’s killing. He shot Jefferson through her bedroom window while responding to a welfare check around 2:30 a.m. on Oct. 12, and he “didn’t have time to perceive a threat” before opening fire, the family’s attorney, Lee Merritt, said.
Jefferson was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew moments before her death.
A federal lawsuit was filed Monday in the Northern District of Texas by Jefferson’s biological father, Jerome Ekpo Eschor, against Dean and the city of Fort Worth, per CBS New York.
“Her father Jerome decided to bring the claim in order to help the family finally get some justice and to bring closure,” said lead attorney Tanika J. Solomon in a phone interview with NBC News. “This is not just about money. This is about vindication.”
“A young woman has lost her life, leaving her family in unbelievable grief. All of Fort Worth must surround Atatiana Jefferson’s family with prayers, love and support,” Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price said in a statement at the time, adding that the police department’s police chief would be “acting with immediacy and transparency to conduct a complete and thorough investigation.”
According to the suit, the city of Fort Worth “knew or should have known that Defendant Aaron Dean exhibited a pattern of escalating encounters with the public,” and the city “encouraged policies, practices, and customs with deliberate indifference to the rights of citizens.”