Fort Worth leaders voted to rename the sports center after Atatiana Jefferson.

A community center located near the home of Atatiana Jefferson, who was murdered by a former Fort Worth cop, will be renamed in her honor following a vote on Tuesday.

Jefferson was murdered in her home near Hillside Park in 2019 by Aaron Dean, who was convicted of manslaughter last month.

The proposal, put forward by councilors Chris Nettles and Elizabeth Beck, originally proposed changing the name of the Hillside Community Center to the Atatiana Carr Jefferson Community Center.

Many residents, such as Kendra Richardson, spoke at the meeting in support of the proposal to memorialize Jefferson.

“I think she deserves it and her family deserves it,” Richardson said. “Renaming this community center is the least you can give to this family, considering everything you’ve taken from them.”

But not all residents who spoke at the meeting agreed with the change.

Resident Douglas Spellman said he was not opposed to Jefferson’s legacy, but supported the preservation of the Hillside Community Center as a historic institution.

“Hillside Park has been around since before it had a zip code,” Spellman said. “We are talking about an institution for those who want to throw away history and forget it. Well, that’s your option, but I prefer not to.

Nettles, who represents the area where Jefferson lived and where the center is located, has followed a series of public comments acknowledging the concerns of residents on both sides of the debate.

He then amended a proposal to change the center’s name to Tatiana Carr Jefferson in Hillside Park. He also proposed an additional historical marker inside or near the building that shares the history of the Hillside community and its residents.

“I ask my advice to support Hillside,” Nettles said. “I also ask for my advice to support the family of Atatiana Carr Jefferson.”

The Council voted unanimously in favor of the change.

Any advice? Write to Pablo Araus Peña at [email protected]

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