Texas City Pays $3.5M to 8-Year-Old Witnessing Aunt’s Fatal Police Encounter

A Texas city agreed to pay a youngster who saw his aunt shot and killed by a police officer four years ago through the window of her home $3.5 million on Tuesday.

Zion Carr, who was eight years old when Atatiana Jefferson was slain, had his settlement authorized by the Fort Worth City Council.

Zion provided testimony at Aaron Dean’s trial in December of last year. Dean, a former police officer, was found guilty of manslaughter in Jefferson’s death and given a nearly 12-year jail sentence.

According to the city, Zion’s immediate necessities and living expenses will be partially covered by the settlement, and a savings plan will be set up to assist pay for his college education.

TX city approves $3.5M settlement for child who witnessed aunt’s fatal shooting by officer in 2019:

Amber Carr, Zion’s mother, had congestive heart failure until passing away in January 2023. On October 12, 2019, Dean, a white man, shot Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman, after a neighbor reported that Jefferson’s front door was open to the police.

During the trial, it was revealed that Zion and Jefferson had been up late playing video games and had left the doors open to let out smoke after the child burned hamburgers.

The main point of contention during the trial was whether Dean was aware that Jefferson was armed. Dean said in court that he observed her weapon. The prosecution argued that the evidence proved different.

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According to body camera footage, neither Dean nor the other responding officer identified themselves as police when they arrived at the residence.

According to Dean’s and the other officer’s testimony, they walked stealthily into the fenced-in backyard to search for evidence of forced entry because they suspected the house might have been broken into.

There, a moment after calling for Jefferson, inside, to show her hands, Dean, her revolver pulled, fired a single shot through the window. According to Zion’s testimony, Jefferson thought there was an intruder in the backyard, so she pulled her pistol.

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