Atatiana Jefferson. Say her name. The 28-year-old Fort Worth woman is the latest unarmed Black person – who was in her house with her 8-year-old nephew minding her business – to be shot to death by a trigger-happy police officer. Unlike Botham Jean’s brother, Jefferson’s father said he doesn’t want a hug from the officer who killed his daughter, Dallas Fort Worth CBS reported.
“Unlike Botham Jean, I don’t want no hug. That’s my one and only daughter,” Marquis Jefferson said. “I’ll never forget that.”
Affectionately called Tay by her family, Atatiana was working as a pharmaceutical equipment sales representative to save up for medical school when she was killed. Medicine was her passion.
During an interview, Marquis said his daughter was very loved and enjoyed learning and reading. He reiterated how needless his daughter’s death was.
“Her mother called me yesterday morning. She say ‘Tay was shot. … I mean it’s senseless. My daughter was 28-years-old. Had her whole life in front of her,” Marquis said.
Atatiana’s life was taken less than a second after the officer commanded she put her hands up – giving her little room to process what was happening let alone comply.
Ironically, officers were performing a welfare check after a neighbor called police due to noting Atatiana’s door was open. Marquis said he doesn’t blame the neighbor because his actions were justified. However, he has no understanding for the officer who killed Atatiana.
“I don’t have nothing against the neighbor. … It’s the way the police acted … You have to know that that’s somebody’s daughter … Somebody loved her and there was a better way. It didn’t have to be like that,” Marquis said.
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Marquis isn’t the only family member to speak out publicly about Atatiana’s slaying. Her sister, Amber Carr, also decried the tragic loss. They have hired attorney Lee Merritt, who also represented Botham Jean’s family.
“It’s another one of those situations where the people that are supposed to protect us are actually not here to protect us. … You know, you want to see justice, but justice don’t bring my sister back,” Carr said.
Marquis said he was unaware of Go Fund Me set up for Atatiana. However, it lists Merritt as the organizer and says its purpose is to help the family cover funeral and other expenses. At the time of publication it had raised $154,199 dollars of its $200,000 goal.