Fort Worth, TX

Honoring Atatiana Jefferson's Legacy: Fort Worth Recreation Center Gets Renamed

Larry Lease
The Fort Worth City Council has approved renaming a recreational center after Atatiana Jefferson.Photo byFerdinand StöhronUnsplash

The Fort Worth City Council has unanimously approved the renaming of a recreational center after Atatiana Jefferson, who was shot and killed by a former police officer in 2019. Fox 4 reports the council voted to change the name of the Hillside Community Center to the Atatiana Carr Jefferson Community Center, which is located near her mother's home.

The decision was made during a public discussion in which some residents expressed concern that removing Hillside from the name would erase the neighborhood's history. In response, Councilman Chris Nettles, who represents the district where Jefferson was killed, proposed an amendment to keep the Hillside name, resulting in the new name Atatiana Carr Jefferson at Hillside Recreation Center. Fox 4 reports that in addition, a historical marker will be placed inside the center to commemorate other community members who have made an impact on the south side of Fort Worth. Due to a family member's illness, Jefferson's family was not able to attend the meeting.

The renaming of the Hillside Community Center to the Atatiana Carr Jefferson Community Center is seen as a way to honor Jefferson's memory and legacy, as well as raise awareness about the issues of police brutality and racial injustice that her death brought to light. Atatiana Jefferson was shot and killed by former police officer Aaron Dean in her mother's home in Fort Worth, Texas in 2019, while she was playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew. Dean was later charged with murder but was found not guilty by a jury. The death of Atatiana Jefferson sparked widespread protests and calls for police reform in Fort Worth and across the country.

The decision to rename the recreational center is also seen as a way to recognize the contributions and sacrifices made by the residents of the Hillside community, and to acknowledge the neighborhood's history and identity. Many residents of the Hillside community have been vocal in their support for renaming the center in honor of Jefferson and see it as a way to promote positive change in the neighborhood.

Fox 4 says that It is also important to note, the changes made also reflect a desire to have a more community-driven process of decision-making, which is why it was important to have a public hearing and listen to various stakeholders' input. It is important to take the community's opinion into consideration and keep them informed of the process and changes that are being made.

It is worth noting that the renaming of the center is only one step in the ongoing process of healing and reconciliation in Fort Worth, and it is likely that there will be more conversations and actions taken in the future to address the issues of police brutality and racial injustice that have affected the city and the Hillside community in particular.

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I specialize in crime, entertainment and political stories. I have spent eight years as a freelance writer and journalist.

Dallas, TX

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