FORT WORTH, Texas — Mourners in Dallas were turned away Saturday after funeral services for Atatiana Jefferson were canceled. Then, later in the day, an audience who was expecting to see Rev. Al Sharpton onstage in Fort Worth was disappointed to hear his voice over the phone instead.
The series of unusual events added further uncertainty to a community where tensions are already high after former Fort Worth Police Officer Aaron Dean shot and killed Jefferson on Oct. 12.
Last weekend, a neighbor called a non-emergency line asking for a welfare check after noticing Jefferson’s door open and the lights on around 2:30 a.m.
Dean never identified himself as police. He entered the backyard and then shot and killed Jefferson through a window. Her 8-year-old nephew was in the room.
A family dispute led to the cancellation of her funeral services scheduled for Saturday at the Potter’s House of Dallas. The family expects to come to an agreement on a time and location in the coming days.
Rev. Al Sharpton was expected to attend and speak at the funeral. He was also in the lineup for an event in downtown Fort Worth Saturday evening.
An audience of about 50 people expecting to see Sharpton take the stage, instead saw a man hold a cell phone up to the microphone, as Sharpton made his address over the phone.
In the phone call, Sharpton said he supported local church leaders in their ongoing efforts demanding police oversight and said he would travel to Fort Worth Wednesday.
More on WFAA:
- Former Maverick Harrison Barnes, Eagles tackle Malik Jackson paying for Atatiana Jefferson's funeral
- Fort Worth mayor says the city is 'broken' after the killing of Atatiana Jefferson
- Black faith leaders say killing of Atatiana Jefferson part of larger policing problem
- Who is Aaron Dean and what might his attempted defense be?
- 'I'm devastated,' says neighbor who called police before Atatiana Jefferson was shot, killed by officer