Fort Worth

Neighbor Who Called Non-Emergency Line Reflects on Atatiana Jefferson's Murder

For James Smith, the memories of what happened to Atatiana Jefferson, his neighbor, are both fresh and vivid.

"It's kind of hard to describe because I haven't wanted to focus across the street," Smith said.

Smith called a the Fort Worth Police Department's non-emergency line after he noticed Jefferson's lights were on and her front door was open. Jefferson was later shot and killed by police officer Aaron Dean while she was inside her home.

"I feel pain, I feel pain," Smith said, looking across the street. "And I'm going to feel pain, because when I cut my yard, when I cut my lot I'm going to feel pain and I have to learn how to live with it."

Smith said he still felt regret over the call and hoped that Jefferson's death would spark real change in the way Fort Worth police approach minority communities.

"I've come to the conclusion that this is bigger than the incident at hand and that's overwhelming," he said. "We don't want a piece of justice, we want justice."

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