City Council Approves $3.5 Million Settlement For Young Witness Of Atatiana Jefferson Shooting

by Gee NY

Fort Worth, Texas, has approved a $3.5 million settlement for Zion Carr, the young boy who witnessed the fatal shooting of his aunt, Atatiana Jefferson, by a police officer over four years ago.

The announcement came on Tuesday, Nov. 28, from the Fort Worth City Council.

The settlement, approved by the governing body, is intended for Zion’s current care and will be placed in a savings plan for his college education and adult life.

Zion, now around 12 years old, will receive a lump sum initially, followed by a college package and annuity payments until he turns 40.

The incident unfolded in October 2019 when ex-cop Aaron Dean fatally shot Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old Black woman, in her mother’s home.

Zion, then 8 years old, testified during a 2022 trial that Dean fired into the home while they were having a family night, playing video games, and preparing food.

Police arrived at Jefferson’s residence after a neighbor noticed an open door. Dean, one of the responding officers, did not announce himself at the front door but walked the perimeter, leading to the tragic shooting when Jefferson approached a window armed with a firearm.

Dean claimed he saw her with a weapon, but evidence and testimony suggested a different sequence of events.

Dean was convicted of manslaughter last December and sentenced to 11 years and 10 months.

Atatiana Jefferson’s sister Amber Carr and her nephew.

The settlement was announced on what would have been Jefferson’s 33rd birthday, as mentioned in an Instagram post by the family’s attorney, Lee Merritt.

Zion, who has endured significant trauma, not only witnessed his aunt’s shooting but also lost his mother, Amber Carr, in January 2023.

She passed away after battling congestive heart failure, just a month after Zion testified at Dean’s trial.

Reflecting on the settlement, attorney Justin Moore acknowledged that money wouldn’t make Zion whole but hoped it would aid in accelerating his healing process from the trauma and grief.

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