Atatiana Jefferson's neighbor regrets calling the police

Just weeks after Amber Guyger, an off-duty Dallas police officer, was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean in his own apartment, nearby Fort Worth police are facing sharp criticism for the fatal shooting of 28-year-old Atatiana Koquice Jefferson, an unarmed black woman who was playing video games in her own home.

The officer who shot Jefferson, Aaron Dean, reportedly resigned shortly before the Fort Worth police submitted a case to the FBI for federal investigators to review whether Dean should face civil rights violations, according to Fox 4 News. But whether or not the case goes to trial, many residents say they can no longer trust the police.

One of those speaking out is James Smith, Jefferson’s neighbor who called a non-emergency number asking for a welfare check after seeing her door ajar. Smith says he never expected the house call to turn violent, and now regrets turning to the authorities for help. “If I had not called the police to do a welfare check, my neighbor would still be alive,” he told the Fort Worth Star-Telegram.

Smith went on to explain that the door had been open for hours and that he didn’t see any movement when he went to the house himself, so he’d called for authorities to make sure his neighbors were OK. He claimed that he heard gunshots “less than a minute” later. In the video of Smith on Twitter, he said the incident “makes you not want to call the police department.”

“If you can’t feel safe with the police department, then who do you feel safe with?” he asked. “They tell you if you see something, say something ... but if it causes someone to lose their life, it makes you not want to do that. It’s sad in this society.”

“It’s another one of those situations where the people who are supposed to protect us are actually not here to protect us,” Amber Carr, Jefferson’s older sister, told DFW's NBC 5. “You know, you want to see justice, but justice don’t bring my sister back.”

Protesters have already hit the streets in Forth Worth in search of the same.

As residents began calls for justice, the Fort Worth police released the body camera footage of the incident showing Dean shooting Jefferson through a window as she and her 8-year-old nephew were playing video games. In the video, he is outside the house with a flashlight as he yells his commands. "Put your hands up! Show me your hands!" Dean shouted just seconds before he fired. Fort Worth police say Dean never identified himself as police or knocked on the front door, but said that those details would be covered later on. "What the officer observed and why he did not announce police will be addressed as the investigation continues," Fort Worth Police Lt. Brandon O'Neil said.

Dean is now expected to be questioned by the FBI. “This tragic loss of life has major ramifications for all involved, especially the family of Ms. Atatiana Jefferson,” according to a statement released by Fort Worth police. “We have communicated with the family and shared our serious and heartfelt concern for this unspeakable loss.”

In the wake of the death, users have taken to Twitter to expose a longtime pattern of racial bias noting that “Fort Worth PD was ‘selected’ in 2015 as one of six cities to be in a pilot program designed to improve race relations and bias awareness.”

The shooting happened not far from Dallas, where Guyger, who reportedly thought she was in her own apartment, killed Jean while he was eating ice cream on his couch, unarmed. Jefferson was a pre-med Xavier University graduate, taking care of her sick mother at home. A GoFundMe has been set up for her funeral expenses by Lee Merrit Esq. who also represented Jean’s case and he held a press conference with Jefferson’s family this morning. “There was no reason for her to be murdered,” Merrit wrote on the GoFundMe. “None. We must have justice.”

Yahoo Lifestyle was unable to reach Smith or Merritt by the time of publishing.

15 PHOTOS
Former Dallas officer Amber Guyger convicted of killing her neighbor, Botham Jean
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Former Dallas officer Amber Guyger convicted of killing her neighbor, Botham Jean
FILE - This file photo provided by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office shows Amber Guyger. A grand jury began hearing evidence Monday, Nov. 26, 2018, in the case of Guyger, a former Dallas police officer who fatally shot her unarmed black neighbor in his own apartment after she said she mistook it for hers on Sept. 6, 2018. (Kaufman County (Texas) Sheriff's Office via AP, File)
This March 24, 2014, photo provided by Harding University in Searcy, Ark., shows Botham Jean, speaking at the university. Authorities said Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, that a Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed Jean, a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (Jeff Montgmery/Harding University via AP)
South Side Flats is shown in this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 photo. A Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, authorities said Friday. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
South Side Flats is shown in this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 photo. A Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, authorities said Friday. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
This photo from video released Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office in Kaufman, Texas, shows Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger getting booked after turning herself in Sunday, Sept. 9 following the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in his own apartment. Guyger was arrested manslaughter and has since been released on bond. (Kaufman County Sheriff's Office Jail via AP)
South Side Flats apartments are shown in this Monday, Sept. 10 2018 photo in Dallas. Authorities say a Dallas police officer said she shot a neighbor whose home she mistakenly entered last week after he ignored her "verbal commands." David Armstrong of the Texas Rangers wrote in an arrest affidavit released Monday that Officer Amber Guyger said she didn't realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean and went into the hallway to check the address. Guyger was booked Sunday on a manslaughter charge in Thursday night's killing of Jean and was released on bond.(AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
Brandt Jean, center left, brother of shooting victim Botham Jean, hugs his sister Allisa Charles-Findley, during a news conference outside the Frank Crowley Courts Building on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018, in Dallas, about the shooting of Botham Jean by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on Thursday. He was joined by his mother, Allison Jean, left, and attorney Benjamin Crump, right. (AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
South Side Flats is shown in this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 photo. A Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, authorities said Friday. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
A resident holds up an electronic key used to open an apartment door at the South Side Flats in this Monday, Sept. 10 2018 photo in Dallas. Authorities say a Dallas police officer said she shot a neighbor whose home she mistakenly entered last week after he ignored her "verbal commands." David Armstrong of the Texas Rangers wrote in an arrest affidavit released Monday that Officer Amber Guyger said she didn't realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean and went into the hallway to check the address. Guyger was booked Sunday on a manslaughter charge in Thursday night's killing of Jean and was released on bond.(AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
South Side Flats is shown in this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 photo. A Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, authorities said Friday. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
People stand near Botham Jean's apartment in this Monday, Sept. 10 2018 photo in Dallas. Authorities say a Dallas police officer said she shot a neighbor whose home she mistakenly entered last week after he ignored her "verbal commands." David Armstrong of the Texas Rangers wrote in an arrest affidavit released Monday that Officer Amber Guyger said she didn't realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot 26-year-old Jean and went into the hallway to check the address. Guyger was booked Sunday on a manslaughter charge in Thursday night's killing of Jean and was released on bond.(AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
South Side Flats is shown in this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 photo. A Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, authorities said Friday. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
This photo from video released Thursday, Sept. 13, 2018, by the Kaufman County Sheriff's Office in Kaufman, Texas, shows Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger getting booked after turning herself in Sunday, Sept. 9 following the fatal shooting of Botham Jean in his own apartment. Guyger was arrested manslaughter and has since been released on bond. (Kaufman County Sheriff's Office Jail via AP)
A Dallas Police vehicle is parked near the South Side Flats apartments on Monday, Sept. 10 2018 photo in Dallas. Authorities say a Dallas police officer said she shot a neighbor whose home she mistakenly entered last week after he ignored her "verbal commands." David Armstrong of the Texas Rangers wrote in an arrest affidavit released Monday that Officer Amber Guyger said she didn't realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean and went into the hallway to check the address. Guyger was booked Sunday on a manslaughter charge in Thursday night's killing of Jean and was released on bond.(AP Photo/Ryan Tarinelli)
South Side Flats is shown in this Friday, Sept. 7, 2018 photo. A Dallas police officer returning home from work shot and killed a neighbor after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, authorities said Friday. The officer called dispatch to report that she had shot the man Thursday night, police said. She told responding officers that she believed the victim's apartment was her own when she entered it. (Vernon Bryant/The Dallas Morning News via AP)
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