NBA Player Harrison Barnes & NFL Player Malik Jackson To Cover Cost For Atatiana Jefferson’s Funeral
Two athletes are coming together for a greater good to help sponsor the funds needed for Atatiana Jefferson’s funeral, the 28-year-old Fort Worth, Texas, woman who was unjustly shot and killed by a police officer in her mother’s home last Saturday.
Harrison Barnes of the Sacramento Kings along with his wife Brittany, have vowed to cover at least 90 percent of the costs for the service, while Malik Jackson of the Philadelphia Eagles will provide the difference, according to The Dallas Morning News. The issue was close to Barnes’ heart after spending three seasons with the Dallas Mavericks.
“My wife and I want to do something for that family,” Barnes said in an interview with NBC Sports Bay Area. “It was a tragic situation that happened and 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. It’s about the family, it’s about everything they’re going through and our prayers are obviously with them.”
Jefferson was playing video games with he nephew early Saturday morning around 2:30 a.m. when officers arrived at her home, responding to a wellness check initiated by a neighbor. Aaron Dean, the officer who fired the fatal shot, reportedly fired through the window without announcing who he was. Dean was arrested and charged with murder after he was terminated from the department, following him stepping down from his position. He’s currently out of jail after recently posting a $200,000 bond.
According to the Fort Worth Police Department, Dean has been uncooperative in the investigation.
S. Lee Merritt, a noted civil rights attorney is also representing Jefferson’s family. Merritt set up a GoFundMe page to raise funds for the Jefferson family. Since, the page has raised almost $240,000.
Jefferson’s funeral is scheduled to take place at 2 p.m. on Saturday at The Potter’s House in Dallas, pastored by Bishop T.D. Jakes. Services will be open to the public.