On Thursday, Atatiana Jefferson was laid to rest in an emotional service that hit hard for the Dallas/Fort Worth community, The Star-Telegram reports.
The tender auntie’s life was cut short by a cop who fired into her home, killing her in the wee hours of the morning after she played a video game with her 8-year-old nephew. Jefferson reportedly pulled her gun from her purse, and peered out a window, thinking a prowler was in her yard.
Jefferson was celebrated by hundreds of mourners and remembered for the light she brought to others’ lives.
“How she lived is how we all aspire to be remembered, as someone who was dedicated to family and to her betterment,” said Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Jefferson’s mother.
“Power concedes nothing without a demand,” Merritt said. “The protests must continue.”
The community has been protesting since Jefferson’s death by the hands of a former Fort Worth cop, who Merritt believes has been given favorable treatment. Aaron Dean, who was charged with murder after fatally shooting Jefferson, was released on a $200,000 bond but has yet to speak with authorities about the ordeal.
Jefferson’s mother, Yolanda Carr, reportedly was unable to attend the funeral but a statement was read.
“You also said you would change the world and I believe you still will through your sacrifice,” Carr said about her daughter.
Atatiana’s father, Marquis Jefferson spoke lovingly about his daughter.
“A father holds his daughter’s hand for only a short while,” his statement said. “But he holds her heart forever.” He was in attendance at the funeral.
Jefferson’s funeral was held at 11 a.m. Thursday at Concord Church in Dallas, according to The Dallas Morning News.
A judge in Texas heard arguments on Monday from the father of Atatiana Jefferson who petitioned and received approval from courts to halt his daughter’s funeral to be a part of the arrangements.
Jefferson was scheduled to be laid to rest on Saturday at The Potter’s House of Dallas. However, the home-going was postponed by Dallas County Judge Brenda Hull Thompson, after signing an order stating her dad, Marquis Jefferson, had the authority to arrange her funeral and burial.
Former Dallas Mavericks standout Harrison Barnes and Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson reportedly paid for the funeral arrangements, Merritt said.
On Wednesday, Jackson said about his donation, “Simply put, because it’s the right thing to do.”
Pastor Bryan Carter called Jefferson “smart” and said she had a reputation for being caring.
“The truth is that many of us are tired,” Carter said. “We are tired of talking to our children about police, tired of crying mothers, tired of funerals, tired of checking the box, tired of hoping the jury will come back with a just verdict.”
“Not only does God have strength, He is a God who will give you strength,” Carter said.
Interim Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus was reportedly in attendance, as well as former Fort Worth Chief Joel Fitzgerald and the city’s Mayor Betsy Price. Also, on hand were a number of City Council members and city administrators.