All eyes are on Texas after Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger killed Botham Shem Jean in his own home two weeks ago and was only charged with manslaughter. Now, activists are even more doubtful Jean will get justice after the trial of a police officer who shot an unarmed Black man ended in a mistrial.
On November 8, officer Derick Wiley, a Black police officer, responded to a report of someone breaking into a car and setting off its alarm,” according to CBS News. Wiley approached Lyndo Jones, ordered him to the ground, but he eventually gets up and appears to start running before turning and pleading not to be shot. Jones’ hands were up and he was shot twice in the back.
By November 30, Officer Derick Wiley was fired. By December 7, he was indicted on felony charges of aggravated assault with a deadly weapon by a public servant. On Thursday, a mistrial was declared. CBS reports, “The jury deliberated all day Wednesday and most of the day Thursday before letting the judge know they could not reach a verdict. “The judge said after eight days of testimony and hours of deliberations, he did not believe a jury could come to a unanimous verdict and declared a mistrial.” Wiley was facing between five years and life in prison, and up to a $10,000 fine.
Some are saying this as a sign of Botham Jean not receiving justice, considering the District Attorney over the Wiley case, Faith Johnson, is the same District Attorney over Guyger. CBS reports, “The groups that include Color of Change and Mothers Against Police Brutality say Thursday’s hung jury in the trial of a former Mesquite officer who shot an unarmed man cast doubts on Faith Johnson’s ability to punish bad officers.”
Clarise McCants of Color of Change said at a rally outside of Faith Johnson’s office, “We need Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson to cut through the noise and make good on her promise to get justice in this case we cannot allow the state to tell people who are living in fear that this can happen to them that the police will get away with it when they kill and brutalize us. There have been many times that Faith Johnson has refused to answer the call for justice and we are calling on her to do what’s right in those instances too we cannot allow her to hang her hat on doing what’s right when the world is watching.” The activists then gave her office a petition to charge Guyger with murder.
District Attorney Faith Johnson, who is a Republican, has not made a public comment about the petition.