Community Leaders Say Fort Worth Has Taken "One Step Of A Million" Toward Healing

Alan Scaia
June 14, 2019 - 7:17 am
Fort Worth Skyline behind the Trinity Park Bridge

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FORT WORTH (1080 KRLD) - Religious and community leaders in the Stop Six neighborhood say Fort Worth has taken ​a step toward transparency by releasing body camera video of last weekend's officer-involved shooting, but they say the city has a history of not following through on outreach efforts.

Police shot and killed JaQuavion Slaton last Sunday. They were responding to a call about a disturbance.

Fort Worth police released body camera video Thursday that shows Slaton run from officers holding a gun. The video shows officers open fire on Slaton when he is sitting in a pick-up truck.

Related: Fort Worth Police Release Body Cam Video Of JaQuavion Slaton Death

Interim Chief Ed Kraus said Thursday Slaton made an "overt action" that made officers fear for their lives and others nearby.

The Tarrant County Medical Examiner found Thursday afternoon that Slaton shot himself.

"My community right now is shouting, 'Fake news.' All day, they're shouting, 'Fake news.' They don't believe he shot himself first," says community leader Richard Vazquez.

Mayor Betsy Price and Kraus say they met with pastors in the Stop Six area Thursday afternoon.

Some of those pastors say they appreciate the city reaching out, but they say Fort Worth has a history of not acting on its plans.

"There's no follow-through," says Michael Bell, the senior pastor of Greater St. Stephen First Church.

"We thank the chief for his effort, his step toward transparency, but that's one step in a million," says B.R. Daniels Sr., the pastor of Beth Eden Baptist Church.

Pastors say the release of the video can start the healing process, but the case shows a disconnect between police and residents of Stop Six.

"They had an opportunity to retreat," says Mark Kirkland, bishop at Greater St. Mark Ministries.

Kraus said Thursday that officers did not have an opportunity to deescalate the situation. He says officers knew Slaton had a criminal history, outstanding warrants and was known to be armed.