Understanding cry for justice, two pro athletes to pay for costs of Atatiana Jefferson’s funeral
As the outcry for justice in the death of the slain woman continues, NBA and NFL players Harrison Barnes and Malik Jackson, have stepped up to aid her family
In response to the emotional public outcry the family of Atatiana Jefferson is receiving assistance amid the difficulty of her slaying at the hands of a policeman.
Sacramento Kings forward, Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle, Malik Jackson are paying for Jefferson’s funeral costs.
Barnes said he and his wife decided to pay for the expenses as a way to help the family since he has ties with Texas community after playing for the Dallas Mavericks after three years, according to PEOPLE. Jackson also decided to contribute shortly after.
“My wife and I wanted to do something for that family,” Barne, 28, told reporters in a video by NBC Sports. “It was a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check, but the biggest thing is, anytime someone has to go through that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to come up with the money for a funeral.”
Lee Merritt, the attorney for the Jefferson family told the The Dallas Morning News that Barnes and his wife will pay for about 90 percent of the funeral and Jackson will cover the rest.
“They did it because they cared,” Merritt said, according to the news outlet. The attorney also emphasized that the players want to “keep their donations low-key.”
Jefferson, 28, was shot and killed by a white Fort Worth, Tex., police officer on Oct. 12, while babysitting her 8-year-old nephew at her home. The officer was responding to a welfare call made by Jefferson’s neighbor after he saw that her front door was open, but opened fire on her, apparently without identifying himself as a police officer, according to bodycam video.
That officer, Aaron Dean, resigned from the department, but was charged with Jefferson’s murder shortly after. Police are currently investigating the shooting.
Jefferson’s funeral was scheduled for Saturday, but according to a post on Merritt’s Instagram account, it has been postponed.
“This family, like most families, is dealing with internal disputes,” he wrote. “Unfortunately, due to the public outcry concerning Atatiana’s murder, they are being forced to go through this tragedy publicly. Please respect their privacy as the family resolves this conflict.”