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Bishop, Al Sharpton to speak; athletes to pay for Atatiana Jefferson’s funeral

Editor’s note: This story has been updated to reflect the news that a temporary restraining order was filed late Friday, possibly putting Saturday’s scheduled funeral on hold.

Bishop T.D. Jakes is set to deliver the eulogy and the Rev. Al Sharpton is scheduled to deliver remarks during the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot by a Fort Worth police officer in her home on Oct. 12.

Former Dallas Mavericks player Harrison Barnes and and his wife, Brittany, covered 90% of the funeral costs, a representative for the Barneses said.

Philadelphia Eagles defensive tackle Malik Jackson will pay for 10% of the expenses.

However, the funeral, which was scheduled for 2 p.m. Saturday at The Potter’s House of Dallas, 6777 W. Kiest Blvd., appears to be on hold after Jefferson’s father won a temporary restraining order in Dallas County Probate Court late Friday.

The order prevents Jefferson’s aunt, Bonita Body, and Golden Gate Funeral Home “from exercising any activities related to the wake, funeral preparations and burial” of Jefferson.

“While her heartbreaking and untimely death has captured the nation’s attention, the funeral will pay tribute to her life as a loving daughter, sister and aunt,” The Potter’s House said in a news release.

Jefferson, 28, was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when they heard noise outside and thought there was a prowler in the back yard, according to police and family. When Jefferson went to the window, Officer Aaron Dean fatally shot her. Police had been called to the house on a open-structure check by a neighbor who noticed its doors were ajar.

Dean has since resigned from the police department and been charged with murder.

“It is clear that the atrocity of this shooting opens up deep wounds that preceded this recent murder case that resonates far beyond our community,” Jakes said in the release. “As a resident of Fort Worth myself, I understand the pain and anger associated with this tragic loss, However, the family has asked that the funeral not be overshadowed by her death but rather that the legacy of Atatiana Jefferson be honored and celebrated for the fullness of her life.”

The wake will be held from 7-9 p.m. Friday, followed by the funeral at 2 p.m. Saturday.

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Emerson Clarridge covers crime and other breaking news for the Fort Worth Star-Telegram. He works evenings and reports on law enforcement affairs in Tarrant County. He previously was a reporter at the Omaha World-Herald and the Observer-Dispatch in Utica, New York.
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