Activists and supporters of Botham Jean, the unarmed Black man killed in his own apartment by a Dallas cop, have planned a number of events to keep his name alive on what would have been his 27th birthday.
Folks in his native St. Lucia planned to hold a thanksgiving praise march on Jean’s birthday, Sept. 29, the St. Lucia Times reported.
“It will not focus on the negativity, it will not focus on the court case, but it will just focus on Botham Jean’s life, on his impact and the gift that he was to everybody that he met,” Barbara Jacobs-Small, a member of the Justice for Botham Support Group, said.
Jean’s life was cut short on Sept. 6 when former Dallas Officer Amber Guyger, who’s white, claimed she mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment thinking that it was her own place and shot him dead. She believed he was an intruder, she alleged. They both lived in the same apartment complex. She was charged, eventually, with manslaughter.
Many people in St. Lucia, Dallas and across the United States are demanding justice for Jean.
“It is going to be a more subtle type of protest because it will be predominantly singing and giving praise and thanks for his life and his contribution,” Jacobs-Small explained about the event on the Caribbean island.
Meanwhile, three of the lawyers representing Jean’s family will gather with other guests on Sept. 29 at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas for a Call to Action event. Civil rights attorneys Ben Crump and Lee Merritt were named as special guests at the celebration, along with Dallas County DA Faith Johnson and Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall.
Activists in the Justice For Botham Jean movement planned to hold a Rally and Petition Delivery at Johnson’s office in Dallas on Sept. 28.
For supporters who cannot travel to St. Lucia or Texas, a Dallas church group has invited people across the world to join with them in song at exactly 10 a.m., CST on Sept. 29.
Willie Williams, of Churches of Christ in Dallas, planned to lead a group of supporters in singing the worship hymn “Let it Rise,” which was the last song Jean sang at his church.