FORT WORTH, Texas - What was initially called a vigil, but what people taking part called a protest, took place Sunday evening for Atatiana Jefferson, who was fatally shot in her own home by a Fort Worth police officer while she was watching her 8-year-old nephew.
Community member gathered for a candlelight vigil held at the Masjid Hassan of Fort Worth, near the home where Jefferson was fatally shot by police.
Many are questioning the procedure used by police, as the officer involved responded to a non-emergency “open structure” call, and did not announce that he was a police officer before shooting.
The officer walked around the perimeter of the house with a flashlight and gun drawn. Investigators say when he got to the back window, he saw someone standing inside the home, which later turned out to be Atatiana Jefferson.
After “perceiving a threat,” the officer can be heard saying, “Put your hands up. Show me your hands,” before immediately shooting through the window at Jefferson.
The single shot fired by the officer hit Jefferson, who was later pronounced dead.
All of this happened as her 8-year-old nephew was in the room with her.
Jefferson’s family wants the officer to be arrested and charged with murder.
Some of the people who went to remember Jefferson Sunday evening said it was a protest, adding, “This is not a Kumbaya moment...we aren’t getting in a prayer circle.”
A 4-year-old girl, Trinity Ford, showed up, and held a sign saying, “Check on me, police. Don’t kill me.”
One person who spoke Sunday evening said Jefferson’s death is an example of “systematic racism.”
Those who spoke also called on the Texas Rangers to not investigate this shooting, after the lead investigative officer in the Amber Guyger case said he didn’t think Guyger was criminally negligent in Botham Jean’s murder.
Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was at the vigil, but left as protesters started yelling at her.