The coffin inscribed with “Jefferson” and many other names posed no threat to the mayor, but Fort Worth police are already stumbling over themselves to arrest the justice activists who placed the symbol on her front yard.

Supporters of police reform took their message to Mayor Mattie Parker on Saturday by placing a coffin on her front yard. The names of Black men and women killed by Fort Worth police over the past few years were inscribed on the casket along with red paint signifying blood.

Visible from the photo taken by the unnamed group is “Jefferson,” a reference to Atatiana Jefferson, the young Black woman fatally shot by former Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean in 2019. The loving sister, aspiring medical doctor, and doting aunt was the sixth person killed by Fort Worth police that year.

Fort Worth police say they are now investigating the placement of the coffin as a terroristic threat. The quick jump to potential criminal charges against a social justice-minded group is a reminder that law enforcement singularly serves the interests of wealthy and well-connected folks like Parker. Fort Worth’s police union staunchly supported the mayor, who in turn continues to fight any effort to add civilian oversight to our police department. She recently was the deciding vote in the November city council decision to reject a proposed civilian advisory board for local police.


In many Black and brown communities, unnamed groups who place coffins on elected officials’ yards — a symbolic reference to those who died and not a veiled threat — are not seen as terrorists. Police are.

Ask the family members and neighbors of Jefferson if they feel terrorized that a white police officer could break protocol by walking onto someone’s private property and fatally shooting them. We can only imagine how terrorized Jefferson felt in her dying moments as she bled out from a massive chest wound as her uniformed killer walked into her home and offered no medical aid.

Read the comments on social media about the casket group, and it is clear that many in this community were elated that — finally — someone had the courage to criticize Fort Worth’s white elites for the over-policing and underfunding of predominantly Black areas like Como and Stop Six.

The poverty and suffering in communities like 76104, where Jefferson was killed, exist because of wealth inequality. It’s an intentional rigging of the system that dates back to our country’s first enslaved men, women, and children and persists through rebranding efforts like Jim Crow, Back the Blue, and, more recently, reactionary Critical Race Theory bullshit that aims to erase anything that upsets precious white snowflakes.

Last week’s anemic prosecution of Dean was yet another reminder that Tarrant County — and this country, if we are being honest — views Blacks as lesser than and Black women as the least worthy of justice. After more than three years of waiting, supporters of justice for Atatiana were crushed to see prosecutors fail to humanize her and fail to detail the repeated breaches of police procedure when Dean took it upon himself to kill an innocent civilian in response to a nonemergency call about an open door.

Concerns of biased policing and prosecution are well-founded. Why Dean has been free to live his life while awaiting trial as hundreds of nonviolent men and women, mostly Black and brown, languish in Tarrant County Jail is a question that public officials, who are mostly white and mostly wealthy, happily ignore.

Sharen Wilson’s alliance with racists is public record. The disgraced outgoing district attorney showed us some of her white hood and robe when she endorsed County Judge-elect Tim O’Hare, an imperial cyclops who has described Hispanics as “less desirable people” who do not value education or taking care of their yards and portrays Black protestors as violent “antifa” mobs, when 93% of BLM protests two summers ago were peaceful, according to a report by the US Crisis Monitor. By endorsing him, DA Wilson aligned her office with a well-monied white supremacist movement that began in Southlake and has oozed into surrounding suburbs and now the county commissioners court.

Decent-minded folks here and across the world are watching the remainder of Dean’s trial and hoping that, somehow, this backward, illiterate, redneck county stumbles into the right outcome, a guilty verdict. There’s no way Parker will use the coffin incident to look inward and empathize with family members who have lost loved ones due to police violence and systemic racism. Instead, the mayor will likely parlay her well-monied connections with Fort Worth police into shamelessly playing the victim.


This column reflects the opinions of the editorial board and not the Fort Worth Weekly. To submit a column, please email Editor Anthony Mariani at He will gently edit it for concision and clarity.


  1. This is dumb as hell! Socialism and communism all the way through! Full of BS, lies and brainwashing, disgraceful CRAP! None of what is said in this article is true about 98% of white people! Your crazy ass gig ain’t getting you anywhere and NEVER will! You compare today to the slave days…are you out of your fucking minds? The people who were slaves back then would slap the ever loving shit out of you cause you are a free fucking person! They actually knew what it was like to be enslaved, NOT YOU! I’m half Native American, Cherokee to be exact, and my family had their land ripped out from beneath their feet, women and children were raped, beaten, separated and sold to slavery while the men were usually killed. My great great grandma walked the Trail of Tears across multiple states on foot. You don’t see us whining and claiming everyone owes us top notch priority because of what happened in the past. Y’all are crybabies for real…get over yourselves and live life FREE unlike your ancestors if you even really had any enslaved ancestors! Dumbfucks!

    • The American Indians are the only ones who are owed shit. So glad to finally hear from one who is only pointing out what is painfully obvious.

      • If you listen to the dumb sheet then you are just as dumb as she is, no one owes me nothing and I have never asked. And Exactly what are the American Indians owed.I am African American but my grandmother was half native American Indian.

  2. How is that white privilage???? The news media always have to make it about race. Sounds to me like a cop who disregarded his training!

    • This will always keep happening and will never end, this cop did something very stupid and that was to go behind the house and didn’t even go through the front door to announce himself, and for him to do something that stupid made her think he was an intruder and it cost her life, police need to be properly trained when it comes to arriving at a persons residence, this has nothing to do with race, I have seen video’s of black cops beating a black man, so again nothing to do with race, it was just plain stupidity, plain and simple