Atatiana Jefferson’s Funeral Cancelled Amid Family Feud

Tracy Connor, Blake Montgomery
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Atatiana Jefferson, the black woman shot dead in her home by a white Texas cop who didn’t identify himself, was supposed to be laid to rest this weekend.

But the funeral—which was to feature prominent civil rights activists—was cancelled Saturday amid a family legal battle over the arrangements.

Local news outlets reported that Marquis Jefferson, who is identified on on her birth certificate as Atatiana’s father, went to court and got a judge to issue a restraining order to stop the burial. The service has not yet been rescheduled, according to the Associated Press.

Jefferson claims that Atatiana’s aunt, Venitta Body, cut him out of the funeral planning and that he will suffer “immediate and irreparable injury” if it goes forward.

“I believe that there's enough people who are looking for you people to show up so they can lift their platforms,” Marquis Jefferson’s spokesman Bruce Carter told reporters.

“They may roll in an empty coffin, who knows. They’ll sing songs. They’ll dance around. They’ll fall out. They'll go back, and it’ll be over with. So when you ask me about the things people do for you to show up, they’ll continually do it as long as you show up.”

Texas Police Officer Fatally Shoots Black Woman Inside Her Own Home During Welfare Check

Lee Merritt, the attorney representing some relatives, said on Twitter Friday night that the Saturday memorial service would still happen, but it was ultimately delayed until later in the week.

“Atatiana’s family is mourning. They’re looking forward to getting through this really difficult process of grieving and memorializing their sister,” Merritt told KDFW. “This is a bit of a distraction. It’s unfortunate, but they are trying to stay focused and stay together during this time of bereavement.”

Atatiana’s aunt claims that Marquis Jefferson is not Atatiana’s legal or biological father, the Dallas Morning News reported. Both sides are due in court Monday morning for a hearing.

Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was gunned down in her Fort Worth home on Oct. 12 after a neighbor called police to check on an open door in the dead of night.

Her 8-year-old nephew told authorities she heard someone outside, got a gun out of her purse and pointed it at the window, fearing an intruder, according to court documents.

Bodycam footage shows Officer Aaron Dean shouting at her to put her hands up before opening fire within seconds; it’s not clear if he saw the weapon.

Texas Cop Who Fatally Shot Black Woman Charged With Murder

Dean resigned from the police force the next day and has since been charged with murder.

“I get it. We are trying to do better... anyone who had looked at that video saw it was wrong,” Fort Worth Police Chief Ed Kraus told reporters earlier in the week.





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