This Thursday, October 12th, will mark four years since Fort Worth native Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed in her home by former Forth Worth police officer Aaron Dean. In 2019, FWPD responded to a welfare call made by Jefferson’s neighbor that saw her door open. At the time, Atatiana and her then 8-year-old nephew Zion had been playing video games in the living room and she had allowed Zion to help make hamburgers. They burned the food a little, so Atatiana opened the door to ventilate the house.
When police arrived, they thought they might be at the scene of a burglary and did not announce themselves. Police and body camera footage show that Dean failed to identify himself and according to NBC News never said the word “gun” or that he saw someone with a firearm before he shot her. He was convicted of manslaughter in December 2022 and sentenced to 11 years, 10 months, and 12 days in prison.
Miranda Suarez / KERA News / 2019
Kwame Osei holds a banner memorializing Atatiana Jefferson outside the Tim Curry Criminal Justice Center in downtown Fort Worth.
Today, her family, friends, and community want to keep her legacy alive by creating a safe space to honor her life. WFAA reports that city leaders of Fort Worth have proclaimed every October 12th as “Tay Day” complete with a parade, community events, and a gala!
Learn how you can support through volunteering/donating or how you can be apart of the parade by visiting The Atatiana Project website.
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