The Kings forward and his wife Brittany, have offered to pay for the funeral of Atatiana Jefferson, the Fort Worth, Texas woman who was fatally shot by a police officer early Saturday. Aaron Dean, the now-former officer, has since quit his job and been charged with murder.
Barnes knows the area because he played for the Dallas Mavericks for two seasons before donning a King’s uniform. So when he saw the tragedy that happened, he decided to pitch in.
“It’s about the family,” Barnes told reporters. “It’s about everything they’re going through. Our prayers obviously are with them. It was a gesture my wife and I wanted to do for them. Anytime you come into a community, you always have a piece of that community with you and you want to give back.”
28-year-old Jefferson was playing video games with her nephew when her neighbor called the police to do a wellness check on her because her front door was open.
As the officer approached a closed first-floor window with a flashlight, he raised his gun and screamed, “Put your hands up! Show me your hands!” Deen apparently never identified himself as police before firing his gun and ultimately killing Jefferson.
“My wife and I wanted to do something for that family,” Barnes told reporters. “It was a tragic situation that happened. No one should be killed during a wellness check. But the biggest thing is anytime someone has to go through that, the last thing you want to have to worry about is trying to come up with the money for a funeral.”
Defensive tackle Malik Jackson decided not to comment publicly, but according to USA Today, he’ll also help pay for Jefferson’s funeral.