Fort Worth Moves Forward With Highway Memorial To Atatiana Jefferson
Tuesday, the Fort Worth City Council voted in support of a proposal to name a section of I-35 for Atatiana Jefferson.
In 2019, white Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean fatally shot Jefferson, a Black woman, through the window of her home.
Now, the city plans to honor her with a memorial designation on a stretch of highway from Downtown Fort Worth to South Loop 820.
Dean shot and killed Jefferson while responding to a call from neighbors concerned about Jefferson's doors being open and the lights being on late in the evening. He was indicted for murder in December 2019.
District 8 Fort Worth City Council member Chris Nettles said the vote will send a strong message to the community.
"Fort Worth has the opportunity to again show its heart," Nettles said. "And not only its heart, but to let a statement be made known."
In October, the city renamed a portion of Allen Avenue and Maddox Avenue in Jefferson’s memory.
District 3 Council member Michael Crain, who voted in favor of the proposal, said he had issues with the process regarding how things are named in the city.
"Across the board, I think there is a process problem that it took two years to get here," Crain said. "There probably should be a process for public citizens to nominate, be a part of the system."
The city proposal will now go to the Texas Department of Transportation (TXDOT), with a map identifying and designing prospective memorial marker locations. If approved, TXDOT will authorize the construction, with the city covering all of the costs.
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