The city of Fort Worth, #Texas, has agreed to pay a $3.5 million settlement to Zion Carr, who witnessed the tragic police shooting of his aunt, #AtatianaJefferson, in 2019, officials announced. Eight-year-old Zion was present at Jefferson's home, engaged in video games, when then-Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean fatally shot the 28-year-old while responding to a welfare check.
A federal lawsuit filed by Zion's mother, Amber Carr, in 2021 asserted that witnessing his aunt's death caused the young boy "anxiety, terror, and agony," resulting in severe #mental and emotional distress. Unfortunately, two years after filing the lawsuit, Amber Carr, who was Atatiana Jefferson's sister, passed away due to congestive heart failure.
The city proposed the $3.5 million Settlement earlier this month, and the #FortWorth City Council unanimously approved the payment on Tuesday. This Settlement aims to provide financial support for Zion's future, covering living expenses, a college savings plan, and scheduled payments to Zion until he reaches the age of 40. Mayor Mattie Parker emphasized that the payment is "the right thing to do" and expressed hope that it brings reconciliation and healing to Atatiana Jefferson's loved ones.
Deputy City Attorney Laetitia Coleman Brown clarified that the Settlement would be distributed in lump sums, with a significant portion provided later in Zion's life, as per the family's request. The agreement reflects a collaborative effort between the city and Zion's family to ensure his well-being, education, and long-term support. Aaron Dean resigned from the police department, faced murder charges, and was sentenced to over 11 years in prison following Zion's testimony during the trial.