A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family of Atatiana Jefferson. Jefferson, 28, was shot and killed by a Fort Worth, Texas police officer in the early morning hours of October 12, 2019 while she was inside her home. The fundraiser will help raise money for funeral costs and other expenses that her family must now bear. Many people are supporting it as they call for “Justice for Tay” on social media.
The GoFundMe Has Raised More than $14,000
The GoFundMe has already raised more than $178,000 as of Monday late afternoon.
The fundraiser reads: “Before law enforcement goes about their pattern of villainizing this beautiful peaceful woman, turning her into a suspect, a silhouette, or threat, let me tell you about 28 y/o #AtatianaJefferson ‘Tay.’ She was a Pre-med graduate of Xavier University. She was very close to her family. She was the auntie that stayed up on Friday night playing video games with her 8 year old nephew. She worked in pharmaceutical equipment sales. Her mom had recently gotten very sick, so she was home taking care of the house and loving her life. There was no reason for her to be murdered. None. We must have justice. This fund is the only direct campaign to offer support to the family of Atatiana Jefferson. Funds collected will go directly to funeral cost and other expenses associated with this tragedy.”
The GoFundMe has gone viral as people seek to help Jefferson’s family. It’s been shared more than 2,000 times and has more than 500 donors as of the time of publication.
Attorney Lee Merritt Created the Fundraiser, Which Is Being Managed By Her Immediate Family
Attorney Lee Merritt created the fundraiser in response to numerous requests from people who wanted to know how they could help Jefferson’s family. He said on Twitter that the campaign is now being managed directly by her immediate family. It will be used to support the costs of Jefferson’s funeral along with other expenses.
The fundraiser has been trending on Twitter with the hashtag #SayHerName. The phrase “Justice for Tay” is also trending. If you search for Justice for Tay on GoFundMe, you may find another fund set up on October 2 for a young man named Dyante Duff who was fatally assaulted.
Merritt represented Botham Jean’s family and now he is representing Jefferson’s family. Jean was shot and killed by Amber Guyger when she mistook his apartment for her own. Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in jail. Merritt also helped the family of Joshua Brown investigate his shooting after he testified in Guyger’s trial.
In a press conference on Monday, Atatiana Jefferson’s family confirmed that the GoFundMe is legitimate and approved by them.
Jefferson Was a Pre-Med Student Helping Her Family After Her Mother Had Medical Issues
Jefferson was a pre-med student who had been helping her family after her mother got really sick. Her friends and family called her “Tay.” She was very close to her family and had been watching her nephew and playing video games with him the night that she was killed.
According to her Facebook page (which was last updated publicly in 2018), Jefferson worked at Xavier University of Louisiana, where she also studied biology and majored in chemistry with a minor in pre-med. She was working in pharmaceutical equipment sales, her GoFundMe shares.
Jefferson died after a concerned neighbor called the police on a non-emergency line to request a welfare check when he saw her front door was open around 2 a.m.
The police officer, whose name has not been released, first went to her open front door, walked past it, and then entered her backyard through a closed gate without announcing his presence. He shined a light around the property in Jefferson’s backyard around 2:25 a.m. and when he saw something through a window, he shot through the window and killed her, according to bodycam footage released by the police.
The officer is on administrative leave during the investigation. He joined the Fort Worth Police Department in April 2018, NBC DFW reported. The Tarrant County District Attorney’s Law Enforcement Incident Team is investigating.
A candlelight vigil is being held for Jefferson on Sunday night at 7 p.m., Merritt shared on her GoFundMe.