Hers was a horrifically tragic death that offers no satisfying explanation. A 2:30 am wellness check requested by a neighbor who noticed an open door. Atatiana Jefferson was minding her own business, playing video games with her 8 year old nephew.
The police officer did not knock or identify himself before reacting to what he saw through the window, shooting at the figure beyond the glass.
That lethal encounter marked the end of Ms Jefferson’s life, and when the dust was settled, the cop who pulled the trigger was charged with murder.
For obvious reasons, the public has not been sympathetic to the cop in question. If anything they are shocked and horrified that he could have dismissed his training and acted so recklessly, endangering the life of the very person he had arrived to protect.
Has a piece of the puzzle emerged that might explain how he could have taken such a rash and dangerous action, from the mouth of the victim’s own nephew?
The boy, who was in the room with Jefferson when she was shot, told a forensic interviewer that he and his aunt were playing video games together about 2:30 a.m. Saturday when she heard noises outside their home in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue.
Jefferson, 28, took her handgun from her purse and pointed it “toward the window” before she was shot, the nephew said, according to the arrest-warrant affidavit.
The 8-year-old saw his aunt fall to the ground. She was pronounced dead at 3:05 a.m.
Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said at a news conference Tuesday that it “makes sense that she would have a gun if she felt that she was being threatened or there was someone in the backyard.”
We’re not suggesting this diminishes in any way the cop’s responsibility for the death of an innocent civilian.
But in a case where nothing makes any sense, and police are often viewed in the most tragic and sinister light, does this give at least one sane explanation for why a trained cop could have made such a catastrophic mistake, one that doesn’t require any of the assumptions the perpetual race-grievance crowd would invoke?
Could he, showing up at a scene where the situation was uncertain, and where the front door was known to be open at 230 am, have interpreted the gun as evidence of a threat? Could he have thought he was encountering an intruder, rather than a homeowner?
Obviously, it is impossible to say at this point.
But if that detail checks out, it would put the whole situation into a context that — while no less tragic or castastrophic — might fit circumstances that the rest of us might at least wrap our mind around.