DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Police and city leaders were among hundreds at a funeral Thursday for Atatiana Jefferson.
The service came nearly two weeks after a police officer shot the 28-year-old, through the window of a home in Fort Worth.
City and county leaders will talk with people Thursday night about how the city plans to move forward after the shooting that claimed Jefferson’s life.
The circumstances of her death are still a focal point, even at her funeral, which pastors said would largely be a celebration of her life; a time for her family to reflect and mourn the young woman taken far too soon.
“They’re just trying to make sense of all of this,” said Jaime Kowlessar with City Temple Church. “They’re still grieving. It’s still fresh, it’s still new. And as the preacher said, I think now they just need people to comfort them.”
After weeks of loud demonstrations, and demands for action, a Dallas church was quiet and somber, ahead of the funeral. While cameras were not present to record it, it was a statement read during Jefferson’s service from her mother, that may have captured the Jefferson’s life succinctly.
“You often said you were going to change the world,” Yolanda Carr wrote, “which I believe, you still will.”
Among the people there to support the family were dozens of Fort Worth police officers, including interim police Chief Ed Kraus. Most of the city council, and city managers were also part of the crowd of several hundred.
And in two eulogies, pastors didn’t shy away what they called an untimely death, that needs justice.
“It breaks out heart. It’s a tragedy. The community remains frustrated and heart by such a tragic act,” said Bryan Carter with Concord Church.
A family attorney, and pastors who have lobbied for federal involvement due to the death, were also in the crowd.
And pastors who spoke said they were tired of protests, interviews and investigations about deaths in their community.
“Something needs to change sooner than later. We can’t continue to prepare funerals where parents are burying their children. This is not the way it should be.”
There was also a letter read during the service from California congresswoman Rep. Maxine Waters, evidence of the attention Jefferson’s death has had nationwide.