A retired black police officer in Fort Worth, where Atatiana Jefferson was killed, says she's afraid to get stopped by her department's officers because of her race

Kelly McLaughlin
Larhonda Young.

CBS News


A retired black, female police officer in Fort Worth, Texas — where Atatiana Jefferson was shot by an officer inside her home on Saturday — says she's afraid to be stopped by police in her former department because of her race.

Larhonda Young spoke to CBS News about the Fort Worth police department and Jefferson's death in an interview that aired Tuesday morning.

"As a black female, former police officer, I'm afraid when I get stopped," she said.

She told CBS News that she believes that Jefferson's death was a breach of protocol.

Jefferson, 28, was killed in her home on Saturday by Aaron Dean, a white police officer who has since resigned from the force and been charged with murder. He shot Jefferson while responding to a wellness check at 2:25 a.m. after a neighbor called a non-emergency line to say Jefferson's front door was left open.

Read more: The killing of Atatiana Jefferson shows how police training needs to change: in some states it takes less training to become an officer than a barber

Atatiana Jefferson

Atatiana Jefferson's family/GoFundMe

Body camera footage from the incident shows that Dean did not identify himself as a police officer.

"Officers are shooting before assessing the situation," Young told CBS News of the incident. "If that officer had simply knocked on the door, that young lady would be alive today."

A press release from the Fort Worth Police department said that Dean saw a person standing near a window while searching the home's perimeter. The press release said he saw the person as a threat and drew his weapon.

"Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" the officer can be heard saying, according to body camera footage released by the department.

Jefferson's 8-year-old nephew was at the scene when Jefferson was shot.

The Fort Worth Police Department's interim police chief, Ed Kraus, said on Monday that he asked the FBI to investigate the shooting for possible civil rights violations. He said that if Dean hadn't resigned, he would have been fired.

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