In a social media message directed toward others in the law enforcement community, a Fort Worth police officer noted that he is "embarrassed" by the actions of his former colleague, Aaron Dean, the officer who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson last Saturday.
JC Williams, a detective in the Fort Worth Police Department, posted a long message on Facebook Monday "in hopes that people on both 'sides' will hopefully benefit from and/or be encouraged by."
"There are NOT two sides to this story and this is not an 'us vs. them' situation. Atatiana was unjustly killed and is a victim," Williams wrote in a post that has been shared more than 200 times as of Wednesday morning. "We want to protect [victims] and we should be mad we did not. It should make us shake our heads and be embarrassed."
Aaron Dean, 35, resigned from his post with the Fort Worth Police Department on Monday, hours before he was charged with murder in the shooting death of Jefferson, 28, early Saturday morning.
A neighbor called police Saturday to report his concern that the doors to Jefferson’s mother's home, in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue, were ajar.
In body camera video released by the department, then-Officer Dean is seen approaching the home, entering the backyard through a gate and looking in through multiple windows of the house.
At the critical point of the video, when Jefferson appears at the window, Dean is heard commanding, "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" before firing his weapon once through the window.
Dean never properly identified himself as a police officer, according to Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus.
In his Facebook post, Detective Williams suggested that other officers within the department need to be apologetic to the community.
"We as cops need to say, 'We’re sorry.' I did not fire the shot, but a guy on 'my team' did. And I have to own that. It’s horrible. I hate it. But I have to own it. We have to own it," Williams wrote. "Saying things like, 'There’s always one bad apple' doesn’t help right now. Say 'I'm sorry, and because of this I will be better and take responsibility to make others better.'"
Williams' final suggestion to his fellow officers is that they acknowledge the fact that many people in the public will never appreciate how difficult their job as a law enforcement officer is, and to draw a distinction between their actions and those of former-Officer Dean.
"People won’t ever understand what you experience, but it doesn't matter. He got it wrong and we have to admit it and we can’t tolerate it," Williams wrote. "This job is hard and it’s not for most people. This is a perfect time and example of why we have to call out the ones that should never be cops and get them off the team."