Is There Too Much Emphasis on Cop Safety Over Public Safety?
The death of Atatiana Jefferson is reigniting questions about police-involved shootings.
The woman who was shot dead by a Fort Worth police officer was holding a gun when she heard noises outside and approached the window, according to a newly released police report.
The noises were made by a police officer who fired almost immediately he saw her pointing the weapon, authorities said.
A newly released arrest warrant quotes Atatiana Jefferson's 8-year-old nephew as saying: "She took her handgun from her purse ... pointed it toward the window, was shot and fell to the ground."
The police officer, Aaron York Dean, was charged with murder Monday night and released on $200,000 bail just three hours later.
Dean is 35 years old and was one of the oldest recruits in his class when he graduated from the police academy in April last year.
The shooting is raising questions about police training and whether too much emphasis is placed on officers' safety and not enough on the safety of innocent members of the public.
Inside Edition went to an officer training simulation center in Monmouth, New Jersey, called the Situational Training and Response Simulator where life-size screens project real-life situations to cops in training.
During one of the simulations that involved a noise complaint, the situation escalated to where the suspect drew a weapon, causing officers to fire.
“You will never substitute that split-second decision-making, no matter how hard you try. It is you versus someone with a weapon and you see how fast that happens,” a trainer at the center said.
Forth Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus fought back tears as he talked about the impact of the shooting on other cops.
“They're out there trying to build these relationships. And I likened it to a bunch of ants building an ant hill and then somebody comes along with a hose and you just have to start from scratch and I think that's enough, thank you,” he said at a press conference.
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