USA: Protest over black woman killing by Texas Police

USA: Protest over black woman killing by Texas Police

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Residents in Forth Worth, Texas, have held a protest outside the home of a black woman who was shot dead by police through her bedroom window.

A vigil became a demonstration as residents demanded justice for Atatiana Jefferson, 28, who was killed by a white officer.

A neighbour had called a non-emergency police number after growing concerned that her front door was open at night.

Body cam footage shows an officer shooting within seconds of seeing her.

In a statement, the Fort Worth Police Department said that the officer had “perceived a threat” when he drew his weapon. He has been placed on administrative leave pending an investigation.

Participants in Sunday’s protest marched in front of Jefferson’s house, holding candles and chanting: “No justice, no peace.” Many called for the officer to be fired and criminally prosecuted.

“State sanctioned violence has always been a culture for black people,” said protester Michelle Andersen, at Sunday’s gathering. “It’s not about a training issue.”

Fort Worth Mayor Betsy Price was present at the vigil, but left after she was approached by protesters shouting “lock him up”, in reference to the unidentified officer, CBS News reported.

“It’s another one of those situations where the people that are supposed to protect us are actually not here to protect us,” Jefferson’s sister, Amber Carr, told CBS. “You want to see justice, but justice don’t bring my sister back.”

The shooting happened at about 02:30 local time (07:30 GMT) on Saturday.

Body cam footage of the incident shows police searching the perimeter of Jefferson’s property, before noticing a figure at the window. After demanding that the person put their hands up, an officer then fired through the glass.

Jefferson been playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew before she went to investigate the noise outside the window and was shot, said a lawyer representing her family.

The officers involved did not park their marked cars in front of her house and did not identify themselves as police, officials said.

The man who called police, James Smith, 62, told local media he was trying to be a good neighbour.

“If I had never dialled the police department, she’d still be alive.” Mr Smith told local media. “It makes you not want to call the police department.”

The officer is expected to be interviewed by the police department’s major case unit on Monday.

Another tragedy in Dallas

Jefferson’s murder comes two weeks after Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, 31, was found guilty of murdering 26-year-old Botham Jean.

Last year Guyger shot and killed Jean as he sat eating ice cream on his apartment sofa, less than 35 miles (55km) from Saturday’s incident. Guyger testified she mistakenly thought she was in her own flat and believed Jean to be an intruder.

At trial, Guyger admitted to shooting “an innocent man”.

“This is a victory for black people in America,” said civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt after the verdict was read. “Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions.”__BBC

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