Tay Day: Fort Worth honors Atatiana Jefferson as trial of police officer approaches

by Erika Stone, Senior Staff Writer
Atatiana Jefferson

The city of Fort Worth, Texas, has named a day in honor of Atatiana Jefferson, who was killed in her Fort Worth home by law enforcement. October 12 of each year will be known as Tay Day, after Ms. Jefferson’s nickname of Tay. 

Ms. Jefferson was killed in 2019, when a neighbor called the police about an open door in her home. When the police responded, an officer erroneously thought he saw Ms. Jefferson with a gun, and killed her on sight. 

The officer, Aaron Dean, has been charged with murder. Ms. Jefferson’s family members are not permitted to talk about the case due to a gag order.  Dean’s trial is expected to begin near the end of November.

atatiana jefferson tay day

Atatiana Jefferson, seen at left, was shot and killed in her home in Fort Worth, Texas, by police officer Aaron Dean, right, on Oct. 12, 2019. He has been charged with murder.
LEE MERRITT/CBS DFW (LEFT); TARRANT COUNTY JAIL (RIGHT)

City Council endorses Tay Day

However, the family did recognize the honor of a day named for Ms. Jefferson, who planned to become a doctor. “The proclamation of naming today Tay Day is one step in the direction of preserving the legacy of our sister,” Ashley Carr said.

Tay Day was suggested by Fort Worth citizen Nysse Nelson, who sought a way to memorialize Ms. Jefferson. She began by googling “how to get your own day” before learning the details and approaching the Fort Worth City Council about memorializing Ms. Jefferson. 

The honor was then endorsed by the Fort Worth, Texas, City Council, at the behest of councilman Chris Nettles. “Atatiana’s life deserves to be celebrated and remembered as the shining light,” said Councilman Nettles at the ceremony memorializing and naming Tay Day.

In a statement, Fort Worth Mayor Mattie Parker said, “this is an incredibly meaningful day for our community to honor her legacy, celebrate the life she lived and send our continued prayers and support to her family and friends.”

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