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Xavier University issues statement about killing of alumnus Atatiana Jefferson

NEW ORLEANS – Xavier University of Louisiana has issued a powerful statement about the death of alumnus Atatiana Jefferson, a Xavier grad who was shot by a police officer while standing in her own home.

The fatal shooting of Jefferson by a Fort Worth police officer has drawn national outrage.

A recently released edited body camera video shows the officer did not identify himself as a police officer before shooting Jefferson, who was unarmed, through a closed window.

Xavier President Reynold Verret said the killing of Jefferson, who graduated from Xavier in 2014, is impacting the entire Xavier community.

“We are deeply dismayed by the news of another African American killed in her own home by the police,” Verret wrote.

The mission of the police is to protect and serve, and all citizens should expect safety in their own homes, Verret wrote.

“Sadly, our fathers and mothers must caution daughters and sons on their interactions with officers,” he wrote. “Families in our communities hesitate to call on their protectors out of fear that they will be killed. That should not be. We know that many officers live out their calling and duty to their communities. Despite this, recent events demonstrate clearly that there is an urgent need to fix a law enforcement system and philosophy that is broken for some. Our communities should not fear the police. Trust must be established to repair a system that does not serve all equally.”

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