A Dallas probate judge signed a temporary restraining order on Friday against Atatiana Jefferson’s family, stopping her funeral and burial and giving full authority for the services to her father, Marquis Jefferson, WFAA reported.
Atatiana Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her nephew in her home on October 5 when she was shot and killed by a Fort Worth police officer last weekend. That officer, Aaron Dean, 34, resigned on Monday and was charged with Jefferson’s murder later that day, as CrimeOnline previously reported.
According to court documents, Marquis Jefferson said that the rest of the family blocked him from participating in planning his daughter’s services, WFAA said. His attorney, Walter Irvin, argued that the parents of the deceased are prioritized under Texas law if there is no will declaring otherwise, and Atatiana Jefferson did not have a will. Irvin also said that Atatiana’s mother is ill and made no arrangements herself, but is not barred from participating.
“He’s the father of the deceased,” Irvin said. “They would not let Mr. Jefferson participate in burial arrangements. That’s why we had to seek an injunction.”
A wake had been scheduled to begin at 7 p.m. Friday and a memorial service was scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at the Potter’s House of Dallas. Lee Merritt, an attorney who has spoken for the family, and Potter’s House said those services would go on.
Bonita Body, Atatiana’s aunt, and Golden Gate Funeral Home have been ordered to appear in court Monday morning for a final judgement, NBCDFW reported.
Atatiana Jefferson’s death caused a furious outcry in the Fort Worth community. The fatal series of events was triggered when a neighbor called the police non-emergency number and requested a wellness check because he saw Jefferson’s door open and the lights on well into the night. Fort Worth police said shortly after the shooting that the officers sent to the address were responding to an “open structure” call, but the Fort Worth Star-Telegram obtained the 911 call records that listed the call as a “burglary,” CrimeOnline reported earlier.
Dean’s body cam footage shows the officer at the open front door — a screen door was closed — and then speaking in hushed tones as they inspect the house’s perimeter. Dean opens a gate and enters the backyard, looking around with his flashlight. He apparently sees Jefferson in a window, orders her to show her hands and fires the single shot that killed her.
The officers did not knock on the door nor did they identify themselves as police officers.
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[Featured image: Atatiana Jefferson/Facebook; Aaron Dean/Fort Worth Police Department]