FORT WORTH, Texas – More than two dozen faith leaders gathered at a lectern in a historically black church on Wednesday to demand federal intervention after the police shot and killed a black woman while holding her Nephew babysit.
The assassination of Atatiana Jefferson, 28, has become the latest flashpoint in one of the largest cities in Texas, where members of the black community demand a federal investigation, because what they say is a pattern that has been excessive for years Violence was exposed and civil rights violations.
"It is time for someone else to take control of setting up the right mechanism to hold the city of Fort Worth and our police department in Fort Worth to account," said Rev. Kyev Tatum, an activist and president Tarrant County chapter of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference.
Tatum and others call for a federal approval ordinance that would involve the Depa Justice, which investigates the Fort Worth police and commission possible reforms, as happened in cities such as Baltimore and Ferguson, Missouri police deaths have led to civil unrest. Faith leaders planned to send a joint letter to Attorney General William Barr on Thursday.
Fort Worth defense attorney Albert Roberts, who lost an offer to the Tarrant County district attorney in 201
"We do not need anyone to tell us that we have a problem." Roberts said.
Fort Worth officials said a third group of national experts will review the police department and that the city will hire a police monitor that would create a community custodian.
But like the department The Tactics is again scrutinized. The desire for federal standards for the use of force and adequate training across the country is being increasingly promoted by activists and politicians following the gunfire on Fort Worth.
"Atatiana Jefferson should still be alive," Sen. Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass., A Democratic presidential candidate, tweeted this week. "We now need real reforms – including federal standards for the use of force, which include proven strategies such as de-escalation, verbal alerting and the use of non-lethal alternatives." Candidate Julián Castro, former mayor of San Antonio, Texas, voiced Jefferson's murder when he explained why he refused a compulsory arms buyback program.
"I will not give these policemen any further reason to go door to door in certain communities because police violence is also a force of arms and we have to tackle it," he said
Samuel Walker, emeritus professor of criminal justice at the university from Nebraska in Omaha and expert on political accountability, a Federal Standard said is necessary and would go a long way to help departments that are not at the forefront of de-escalation and other surveillance tactics.
"There should be federal standards for the use of lethal force, though I'm worried," Walker said, "whether Congress will pursue strict policies."
A bill banning police violence and 2015 after death New Yorker Eric Garner was arrested when he was arrested by the police. remains withheld in Congress.
In the meantime, more than 30 states have passed laws on de-escalation, with departments applying standards of violence that also take into account mental illness and aim at the preservation of life.  "The problem is, we have 18,000 different law enforcement agencies in this country, and apart from Supreme Court decisions, there are no national regulatory standards, so it's a serious problem," Walker said. "There are a lot of reforms, However, these are done incrementally, and too often are crisis management. "
The departments can benefit not only from determining when officers are allowed to shoot and when not, but by implementing audit panels that deal with shootings to deal with a specific period of time and to identify recurring problems.
"Are there any problems with our policies, with our education, or is it up to supervision and that's a big problem?" Walker asked. "What you really need to have is a comprehensive approach to using lethal force, and most departments do not meet all of these standards.
De-escalation training at Fort Worth was already under way before the recent gunfire by the police, which announced last year that their training sessions have been "changed to provide more tools to resolve police collisions that increase security." Training Attempts?
Fort Worth Provisional Chief of Police Ed Kraus said on Monday that he had planned to release the policeman who had shot Jefferson for violating several directives, including our policies on the use of force, our de-escalation policy, and unprofessional behavior. "
34-year-old officer Aaron Dean resigned and was charged with murder. He joined the department in April 2018. His actions during the shooting have raised questions as to whether the training of the department is sufficient.
Jefferson had been awake until about 2 am on Saturday, playing video games with her nephew at her mother's house. A neighbor worried that the front door of the house was ajar, called a non-emergency police line to call for a social check – "Show me your hands," before you took one shot in three seconds The policeman did not identify himself.
He and another policeman responded to the call, but did not announce their presence after entering the backyard after a warrant
The door had been left open because the family had them According to the family's lawyer, the air is cooler, Jefferson's nephew told the investigators when his aunt heard the sounds in the backyard, got her pistol and pointed her to the window.
Jefferson owned the gun legally, and Kraus said she has every right to defend herself if she believes that someone is in the house.
Although Jefferson's neighbor is in Hi The City's llside Morningside Department had demanded social assistance, officials were told was an "open structure" – which meant that a's circumstances could have been enough homeowners who did not respond to something more disgraceful.
LaRhonda Young, a former Fort Worth police officer (1992-2004) who once patrolled this neighborhood, said that if time permits, the officers would need to adequately investigate a scene before knocking on a door and possibly scare someone.
Young said sensory cues, such as the glow inside and one of the first cool nights in Fort Worth in days, were signs that were to be assumed. A break-in did not take place. A walk through the backyard of a house in the dark would only exacerbate the situation, she said.
"I can understand that this is an open structure call and you need to take precautions, but it's just so – take precautionary measures," Young said. "Record Your Environment."
She said it was less of a training error that an officer responded as Dean supposedly did, rather than Dean, a rookie officer, likely from other rookies under five Learning Years
Craig Miller, a former deputy police chief in Dallas, said that night shifts in larger police departments are usually assigned to younger officials of lesser seniority.
Young said it is up to all officials to maintain better relations in the police communities they serve so they can recognize the people who live there, whether they are law-abiding residents or involved in criminal activity.
"When I worked there, we all knew drug dealers," said Young. "They knew me by my first name, they did not like me, but we had mutual respect, being a beginner is no excuse – you have to study your neighborhood." The shooting was a major blow to relations between the police and the community in Fort Worth. So far, nine people have been shot dead this year, six of which ended in death. All but two involved in the shootings were either blacks or Latinos.
"I compared it to a bunch of ants building an anthill, and someone comes with a hose and washes it away," Kraus said of the relationship. "You just have to start over."
The department did not respond to a request for comment on concerns raised by activists and federal intervention calls for the city, which was open to municipal police programs, de-escalation and racial bias. "I just think you have to realize we're not perfect," Miller said, "and the more training, the better." The better we are prepared, the better we can be as officers. It is a progressive tendency to say that you need any outside help that you can get.
Suzanne Gamboa reported from New York's Fort Worth and Erik Ortiz, with Elizabeth Chuck contributing to reporting from New York.