Hundreds Attend First Fort Worth City Council Meeting Since Shooting Death of Atatiana Jefferson

The Fort Worth City Council met for the first time Tuesday night since the shooting death of Atatiana Jefferson by Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean.

Dozens of people crowded the City Council chamber and hundreds more shouted outside to call for justice.

Several hundred people lined up outside city hall to attend to the meeting.

However, by the start of the meeting, council chambers were full. Most of the roughly 200-hundred strong crowd waited, airing their frustrations with both the police and city outside.

Those who signed up to speak were let inside as people left and as the meeting stretched into the night some left but many stayed well past 10 p.m.

The meeting started with disruption to the agenda and speakers deliberately veering off agenda topics to talk about safety in the black community and police accountability.

The citizen presentation portion of the meeting started near 10 p.m. with more than 40 speakers signed up to address city leaders.

Many speakers asked for the resignation of City Manager David Cooke and Assistant City Manager Jay Chapa for what they called complicit behavior in the treatment of predominately minority communities.

Another major ask from citizens was the implementation of a police oversight board and more thorough training of Fort Worth Police.

Speakers also presented the following demands to city leaders:

  • An independent criminal investigation into the shooting of Atatiana Jefferson.
  • The full body camera footage of all officers on scene the night of the shooting, as well as their names.
  • That interim Chief Chief Ed Kraus bring charges of assault with a deadly weapon and child endangerment against officer Aaron Dean.

Aaron Dean was arrested Monday night on a murder charge after he resigned as a Fort Worth police officer. He is free on bond.

As the council went through its routine agenda Tuesday night, Lauren Ward stood up in the crowd more than once to tell council that she doesn't feel safe in Fort Worth and call for city officials to resign. As the council addressed a routine zoning matter, another woman called out "Let these people speak."

More than once, Mayor Betsy Price threatened to have people removed or adjourn the meeting altogether.

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