FORT WORTH (CBSDFW.COM) — Atatiana Jefferson, a Fort Worth woman killed by a former police officer, could soon be honored with a memorial designation on Interstate-35W.

On August 17 the City Council voted in favor of renaming a section of the highway that according to the Fort Worth Star-Telegram would run about six miles, from downtown south to Interstate 20. The city will now present the plan to the Texas Department of Transportation (TxDOT).

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The TxDOT process for naming highways and memorial designations states: “A part of the highway system, including a bridge or street, may be designated by the name of a person only if the person is deceased and he/she was significant: (1) in the state’s history; or (2) in the lives of the people of this state.”

The city has a municipal maintenance agreement with the department that allows for designations on state highways. TxDOT will review the request and notify the city of its decision. If approved, TxDOT authorizes implementation, and the city covers all expenses.

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City leaders say they are working with a coalition of clergy and grassroots community leaders to prepare a comprehensive response to how to honor Jefferson’s life and legacy. The City Council should receive recommendations from the coalition in the coming weeks.

“I am deeply humbled to be a part of honoring Atatiana Jefferson’s life and legacy,” said Councilmember Chris Nettles, Council District 8 representative. “It means so much to the community and me that Fort Worth took this step in solidifying her incredible impact on our city.”

Atatiana Jefferson was babysitting her nephew and playing video games around 2 a.m. on October 12, 2019 when two Fort Worth police officers arrived, responding to a concerned neighbor’s call about doors being open at the home. Jefferson, 28, heard something outside and grabbed her gun. Officer Aaron Dean, who did not identify himself as police, demanded through the window that Jefferson show her hands before opening fire, killing her.

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The council previously approved the memorial designation of East Allen Avenue/East Maddox Avenue from I-35W to U.S. 287 to honor Jefferson.

CBSDFW.com Staff