The Rosa Parks Of Police Killing Black Americans

Isaac Newton Farris Jr
6 min readOct 23, 2019


Rosa Parks heroic sacrifice sparked a movement that would bring down the walls of Jim Crow segregation and discrimination in America. In Fort Worth, Texas another sacrifice caused by a Police killing might finally bring down the blue wall of Police killing black Americans.

Most people are not aware of the fact that months before Rosa Parks decision to sacrifice her job, her husband’s job and her personal freedom another black female had refused to give up her seat on a bus to a white person. This black female like Parks was also arrested, but the leadership of Montgomery’s black citizens chose not to build a protest around her case because the female was an unwed pregnant teenager, something that was considered a serious and embarrassing moral flaw of character in 1955.

Two weeks ago a life sacrifice was made in Ft Worth, Texas that like the case of Rosa Parks is a textbook example of racial bias, with no personal moral or legal character flaws, no ambiguity over whether or not the actions of the victim created the final outcome of death, and leaving no doubt that there is a systemic problem of police killing black Americans. It’s a clearer example than the outrageous police killing of black American Botham Jean. Its proof that the high number of police killing black Americans versus the low number of police killing white Americans is due to racial bias.

Last week I responded to an invitation by Ft Worth’s leading Human Rights Activist, Rev. Kyev Tatum Pastor of the New Mount Rose Baptist Church, to come to Ft Worth and help craft a responsible non-violent reaction to the 6th police killing of black Americans in Ft Worth within the last 3 months. While there I met with James Smith, the witness who now says he regrets placing a non-emergency call to Ft Worth’s Police Department. Smith made the call to request a welfare check visit be made to his neighbor Atatiana Jefferson, whose racially bias shooting death would make her America’s Rosa Parks of police killing black Americans.

James Smith says he called authorities for a welfare check on his neighbor, Atatiana Jefferson(upper right), but within minutes of their arrival he heard gunfire. Photo: Fort Worth Star-Telegram

Smith told me he noticed Atatiana Jefferson’s house was fully lit up, but that both the front door and an entrance door from the carport were left wide open. He decided to place a call to the NON-EMERGENCY phone number of Ft Worth’s Police Dept., requesting that an officer stops by the house to make sure everything was OK. During the call, Smith said he made no mention of a break-in and no mention of a domestic dispute or violence of any kind taking place in the house.

According to Smith, the following took place: Around 2:30 am on October 12 the Ft Worth Police Dept. arrived and parked half a block away from the house. Two police officers decked out in black SWAT attack gear approached the house without stopping at either the front door or the carport door. Based on the way the police were dressed and approaching the house Smith said he began to wonder if they had come to the wrong place.

The last thing Atatiana Jefferson was doing seconds before she was murdered by a Fort Worth, Texas policeman was playing video games with her 8-year old nephew

The police were approaching the house in a sneaking-up fashion as if they did not want to alert anyone in the house of their presence, Smith said he thought to himself that this was a strange procedure to check on the welfare of someone. He then saw the police past both open doors without stopping to look in, they then turned the corner to enter the back of the house and within seconds he heard the shot.

Former Ft Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean was arrested for the murder of Atatiana Jefferson and quickly released on just $200,000 bond when most people arrested for murder are never released on bail

The body camera footage of Officer Aaron Dean tells the story of his racially bias police killing of black American Atatiana Jefferson. It confirms that he quietly approached the house preceded to the back yard, and at no time identified himself to Jefferson or her nephew who were present in the house.

The bullet hole from the police officer’s kill shot is seen in the rear window of Atatiana Jefferson’s home after former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean shot into the home and killed her. Tom Fox / Staff Photographer

Jefferson’s 8-year old nephew, who might be emotionally scarred for life after witnessing this police killing of his aunt, told police forensic interviewers that he and Jefferson were playing video games right before the shooting. According to him, his aunt heard noise coming from the back yard so she pulled out a gun from her purse and approached the window with the gun in hand, to see what or who was outside. At this point, she was shot immediately and fell to the floor without the policeman never having identified himself as the police.

Because Jefferson had a gun there was a brief bogus attempt to rely on the over-used racially bias claim common in the police killing of black Americans cases, that because the police officer feared his or her life would be killed caused them to kill the black life first. Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus admitted that releasing an image of the gun found in the room where Jefferson was shot without explanation was wrong.

Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus said “There’s absolutely no excuse for this incident.” And admitted that it was wrong to release a picture of Atatiana Jefferson’s gun without an explanation that she did nothing wrong by having possession of it Tom Fox/Staff Photographer

Kraus also said 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.” Texas state laws are so pro-gun ownership that even convicted felons are allowed to possess a firearm in the residence where they live. However, Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys representing Jefferson’s family noted that she had a license to carry the legally owned firearm found at the scene.

The facts of this once again case of the police killing black Americans are as crystal clear as the case of Rosa Parks illegal discrimination. Atatiana Jefferson is the Rosa Parks of racially bias police killing black Americans because like the Rosa Parks case there is no wiggle room, no ambiguity, no guilt, and NO POSSIBLE way to find any misunderstanding, fault, or wrong doing on Jefferson’s part to inadvertently justify or cause her shooting death to happen. The recent outrageous shooting of Botham Jean in his apartment home was almost a Rosa Parks moment, but the ambiguity that allowed the policewoman to say she thought she was shooting a person in her own apartment home, which was located in the same building precisely one floor below Botham Jean’s, meant it fell inches short.

Rev. Kyev Tatum of New Mount Rose Baptist Church, Fort Worth, Texas’s foremost Human Rights Activist is leading the city’s faith community in the demand that the U.S. Justice Department enter into a Consent Degree with the Ft Worth Police Department because of the 10 murders of the city’s black citizens by the Ft Worth Police in the past 6 months

Atatiana Jefferson was an upstanding, self-supporting law abiding citizen with no criminal record. Even the fact that she was brandishing a loaded gun at the time she was approached by the prejudice cop was both APPROPRIATE and LEGAL. This is the Rosa Parks/Atatiana Jefferson moment that screams loudly to America that the Police are purposely killing black Americans through no fault of our own!!!

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center. Growing up in one of the most socially and politically active families has given him a unique perspective on current events. Drop by his website for straight talk free of one-sided political spin.

Originally published at on October 23, 2019.



Isaac Newton Farris Jr

Isaac Newton Farris Jr. is the nephew of Martin Luther King, Jr. and serves as Senior Fellow at the King Center.