Memphians hold vigil for Texas woman killed by police officer

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MEMPHIS, Tenn. — None of the people gathered at a downtown park Tuesday evening may have known Atatiana Jefferson, but they feel her experience isn’t that different from their own.

Supporters gathered at the I Am A Man Plaza downtown Tuesday evening for a #sayhername rally in support of Jefferson and other victims of police violence.

“Nobody is walking around unscathed by that reality,” a speaker at the vigil said.

28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson who was shot and killed by a white police officer in her Fort Worth, Texas home after a neighbor called dispatchers to report the woman’s front door was open, police said.

Jefferson, 28, was shot and killed in her own home by a Fort Worth police officer last weekend.

Court documents said she was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when officer Aaron Dean responded to a neighbor’s welfare call about an open door.

Apparently startled by the noise, Jefferson retrieved a gun and pointed it at her window, and that’s when Dean allegedly shot and killed her. The incident was captured on Dean’s body camera.

“It’s another reminder what I’m going through and how scared I am for these cops,” said John Smith at Tuesday’s vigil.

It’s a fear that was echoed over and over again at Tuesday’s vigil — that scenes like the one in Texas will continue to play out.

“This is not isolated in any aspect. This is an American phenomenon that must stop, and we need to connect those dots, those heartbeats that are being ended,” Rev. Vahisha Hasan said.

Dean was charged with murder but has bonded out of jail. He is reportedly refusing to speak with investigators.

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