Fort Worth considers $3.5 million settlement with the family of Atatiana Jefferson

Atatiana Jefferson was 28 years old when she was shot to death by Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean. This family photo taken in 2018 was submitted as evidence during the testimony of Ashley Carr, Jefferson’s sister, on Dec. 7, 2022, in Fort Worth.

Fort Worth could settle one of two lawsuits brought by members of Atatiana Jefferson’s family in the wake of her October 2019 shooting death by former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean.

Dean shot Jefferson, 28, through a window of her mother’s house in the 1200 block of East Allen Avenue. He was found guilty of manslaughter in December 2022 and was sentenced to over 11 years in prison.

The family filed two lawsuits against the city — one on behalf of Jefferson’s estate and one on behalf of the estate of her late sister Amber Carr.

This settlement would address the claims from Carr’s estate on behalf of Jefferson’s nephew Zion Carr, according to a post on the city’s website. Carr, 12, was present at the time of Jefferson’s death, and testified about that experience at Dean’s trial.

The proposed terms would have the city pay $3.5 million into a trust for Zion Carr. That amount is expected to increase as it earns interest, according to the city.

The money would be put into a trust for Carr’s living expenses with a trustee overseeing how the money is spent, the post said.

A college savings plan would also be established, which Carr could use for up to eight-years of education after high school, according to the post. If he chooses not to go to college, that money would be paid out in a lump sum, the post said.

“I believe this settlement is the right thing to do, and I hope this can bring a degree of reconciliation and healing for Atatiana Jefferson’s loved ones,” Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said in the city’s post.

The Fort Worth City Council would need to approve the settlement at a future council meeting, although it’s not clear when that would be. The earliest the council could vote on the proposed settlement would be Nov. 14, unless a special meeting is called.

This is a developing story. Check back for updates.