Grassroots Global Justice Alliance strongly condemns the October 12th killing of Atatiana Jefferson by Officer Aaron Dean, a member of the Fort Worth, TX police department. Atatiana, who was 28 years old, was at home playing video games with her nephew at the time of her death. Her killing marks the 6th fatal shooting by a Forth Worth police officer in less than 5 months. You can visit this link for more information about the facts related to this tragic killing.
Just as Nikkolas Smith digital painting of Atatiana and her nephew reignited national attention to this tragic injustice, we must say her name and lend our support to the local organizers in Texas continuing to fight for justice for her family and all Black and Brown families threatened by systemic racism in the Fort Worth police force.
Click here to Read Detroit News coverage of the Detroit Coalition for Justice and Solidarity #AtatianaJefferson #DayOfOutrage #ProtectOurSisters Rally on Monday led by a broad coalition including some GGJ members and allies.
Atatiana’s death is illustrative of a deeper problem with racism, patriarchy and policing in America. Incidents such as these are jolting reminders of the oppressive and racist history of law enforcement in this country. Modern day police forces grew out of Slave Patrols and vigilante style organizations, intended to apprehend fleeing slaves, deter slave revolts, control free Black people, and punish anyone who challenged the white supremacist rule. Today, vestiges of this oppressive past are evidenced by the inhumane detention and separation of families at the border, the rising incarceration of Black and Brown women, Black trans people, and the criminalization of Black men.
Atatiana was a college graduate, a daughter, an aunt, and a neighbor. Her tragic death comes in the midst of a frustrating lack of media coverage on the police killings of Black women and girls. Despite scores of women who have fallen victim to police violence, the deaths of Black women and girls are rarely highlighted as exemplars of police brutality. Grassroots Global Justice uplifts the names of Atatiana Jefferson, Pamela Turner, Yvette Smith, Sandra Bland, Miriam Carey, and countless others who have lost their lives to police violence. Our hearts go out to the families and our support goes out the activists who are on the frontlines, challenging police oppression.
Community members in Texas have been actively demanding police accountability. If you would like to support the efforts of grassroots organizations, please see the Tarrant County Coalition for Community Oversight, United Fort Worth, and the Next Generation Action Network (NGAN).
Please reach out to Angaza Laughinghouse <email@example.com> for more follow up on this statement and to get involved in GGJ’s Anti-Miliatrism Work Group.