Pressure escalates for police oversight in Fort Worth after Atatiana Jefferson’s death
FORT WORTH, Texas - There have been stronger calls for outside police oversight at Fort Worth PD since Saturday's police shooting that killed Atatiana Jefferson.
Positions meant to fill the gap between Fort Worth police and the community are set to be filled sooner than many think.
Ex-Fort Worth Officer Aaron Dean is charged with murdering Jefferson. He was arrested on Monday and bonded out a few hours later.
RELATED: Affidavit: Atatiana Jefferson pulled handgun from purse because she heard noises in her backyard
Bodycam footage released over the weekend shows Dean shouting demands and firing a fatal shot into Jefferson's home. Police say Dean is not cooperating with the investigation.
Frustration and anger reached a boiling point Tuesday night at Fort Worth City Hall as many demanded action in wake of Jefferson’s death.
On behalf of the Tarrant County Coalition for Community Oversight group, Pamela Young sounded their demand.
"We demand effective independent community-driven police oversight,” she said.
Discussion surrounding a potential police review board in Fort Worth is nothing new.
Race and Culture Task Force member Bob Ray Sanders says the city is further along with that process than most people realize. He says the city council is in the process of implementing several recommendations.
“Included in those recommendations were new positions for the city, including a police monitor and a citizens review board,” Sanders explained. “But they would hire the police monitor who would work with the city manager’s office in coming up an idea of how this citizens review board should be structured."
Sanders says he anticipates within the next month the city will begin interviewing candidates for that city police monitor position.
A new position, the director of diversity and inclusion, is also important and is set to be filled even sooner. The department will be responsible for putting recommendations from the task force into action.
"We've got six candidates coming in next week to be interviewed for that job,” Sanders said. “That was recommended by the task force."
Sanders says nothing, however, is likely to quiet the outrage surrounding what happened Saturday morning at the home of a young woman who died at the hands of a former officer now charged with murder.
"The community is very upset, as they have a right to be. They're hurt, as they ought to be. We're in mourning with this family as this whole city and the country ought to be,” he said. “But I think we're moving, and I hope the community will give the leadership time to do the right things."
Services for Atatiana Jefferson are Friday and Saturday.
The wake is Friday at 7 p.m. followed by Saturday's funeral at 2 p.m. Both services are at The Potter's House of Dallas on West Kiest Boulevard in Oak Cliff.