Activists are not backing down after officer Amber Guyger killed Botham Shem Jean in his own home two weeks ago and was only charged with manslaughter. On the day of Jean’s 27th birthday, there was a call to action and discussion at St. Paul United Methodist Church in Dallas, with activists demanding justice. The Black district attorney, Faith Johnson, was in attendance. And the Black police chief, Renee Hall, said she could not attend because of a family illness.
Moderated by Roland Martin, the panel included Johnson, State Sen. Royce Wes (D-Dallas), activist Dominique Alexander, attorney Justin Moore and McKinney City Council member La’Shadion Shemwell. Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, called in from St. Lucia and said over speaker phone, “This is a difficult time for our family. Let us not rest until justice prevails. This is an international affair. The entire world is watching.”
According to Dallas News, as the meeting went on, activists grilled Johnson on why 30-year-old Guyger has not been charged with murder. She explained, “The police department filed the case, now we have the case and we are presenting that to the grand jury. I don’t have the authority to file the case. The police department filed what they thought was a right charge.”
She continued, “We’re not concerned with what the police department did in terms of their assessment, that’s why we’re doing all of our thorough investigations. We’re talking to witnesses, we’re doing lab reports – everything to make sure that everything gets presented to the grand jury.” Sounds like Johnson is trying to say all the right things, especially considering it’s an election year. However, it’s hard to deny this case has been mismanaged.
See Johnson below:
Dallas News reports, “As the panelists on Saturday urged patience to let the judicial process play out, the crowd’s anger intensified.” The meeting got more contentious and there was a request to extend another hour, but it was denied.
The powers that be in Dallas are certainly feeling the pressure to deliver justice.