The family of Atatiana Jefferson is speaking out about the 28-year-old being shot and killed by a Fort Worth police officer. Jefferson’s father has made it clear, he doesn’t want any hugs, referencing the hugs at Amber Guyger’s murder trial, who was found convicted of murdering Botham Jean in his own home on Sept. 6, 2018.
Her father, Marquis Jefferson, told CBS, “Her mother called me yesterday morning. She say ‘Tay was shot.’ I mean it’s senseless. My daughter was 28. My daughter was 28-years-old. Had her whole life in front of her.”
He explained has no anger toward the neighbor who called a non-emergency line for a welfare check when he saw her door open, “I have nothing against the neighbor. If you see something going on at my house with my daughter… you need to call police. But it’s the way that the police acted.”
Marquis Jefferson continued, “You have to know that was somebody’s daughter. Somebody loved her and there was a better way. It didn’t have to be like that.”
He also added, “Unlike Botham Jean, I don’t want no hug. That’s my one and only daughter. I’ll never forget that.”
Noella Jefferson, Jefferson’s step-mother, said “We lost her for no reason. We’ve seen many cases like this, where you think someone had learned from it, but we think there’s a low learning curve here for the police department and we need to see how can we make it better.”
Watch the clip below:
On early Saturday morning, an officer responded because a concerned neighbor requested a wellness check. Atatiana Jefferson died about 2:30 a.m. local time, after an officer killed her in her own home by shooting his gun through a window early Saturday morning. Jefferson was reportedly playing video games with her nephew.
Bodycam footage showed that Jefferson was shot within four seconds of the officer arriving.
Lee Merritt, who is representing the Jefferson family, started a GoFundMe page to help pay for the 28-year-old’s funeral and related costs. According to her Facebook and LinkedIn pages, she worked at and attended the historically Black college Xavier University of Louisiana.
The neighbor who called the non-emergency police number in Fort Worth said he only reached out to police because he found it curious that her lights were on and her door was open at such a late hour. James Smith said he was concerned because he said he knew Jefferson’s young nephew was there with her. But now, Smith said he regretted contacting law enforcement about Jefferson, who he called his friend.
Our condolences goes out to everyone affected by this tragedy.