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Atatiana Isn’t Just Another ‘Story,’ ‘Incident’ or ‘Tragedy’ — She’s All of Us

Written by on 15 October 2019

Atatiana Jefferson isn’t just another “incident.” Atatiana isn’t just another “accident.” Atatiana isn’t just another “story” in a never-ending cycle of tragedies. Atatiana is a human being, first and foremost. Atatiana is a young black woman who had hopes, dreams, and accomplishments. Atatiana has family, friends, and loved ones. Atatiana had a past, but, unfortunately, her future was cut woefully short. Atatiana is all of us.

Atatiana has become another tragic flashpoint in the intersection of bad policing policies and the black community. A community that’s too often disproportionately affected by rogue cops. A community that’s over policed but underserved. A community that’s supposed to turn the other cheek and told to get “over it and move on.” A community that’s had quite enough.

The DFW metroplex was just digesting the end of the Botham Jean case when a little more than a week later, Atatiana became the latest black person shot by police while in her home, and we were once again forced to try to choke down this injustice. This was just throwing salt into the wound.

Two black people, in their homes innocently, killed by the police because the officers “feared for their lives” in just over a year’s span. What about the fears of Botham and Atatiana when they found themselves in situations they couldn’t understand? Situations where they had no chance of survival? How much can one community bear? How much is too much? When is it going to stop?

Sadly, there are no easy answers, no quick solutions. Maybe there can be some semblance of justice in Atatiana’s case, but whatever the legal system decides to do to the now ex-cop in the case, it’s not going to bring Atatiana back. Atatiana’s family won’t be able to embrace her shining light. The world won’t be able to see Atatiana reach her full potential. But, we can continue to say Atatiana’s name and make sure Atatiana’s life and untimely death wasn’t just another tragedy…. at least until the next “accidental” officer-involved shooting.


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