People remained suspicious of the Dallas Police Department after Joshua Brown, who testified against Amber Guyger in her murder case, was killed earlier this month. An online petition is now demanding that the FBI take over the investigation into Brown’s murder.
“The seeming revenge killing of Joshua Brown, who testified recently against Dallas Police Department officer Amber Guyger, is unlikely to get a full and impartial investigation by the Dallas Police Department,” reads the petition on Change.org. “Therefore, it is in the best interest of impartiality and justice that the FBI step in and take over the investigation. This terrible murder qualifies for FBI involvement on two fronts: public corruption and civil rights.”
Joshua was the next door neighbor of Botham Jean, who was killed by Guyger, a former Dallas police officer, in September of last year. Brown gave an emotional testimony where he claimed that he never heard any verbal commands being given before he heard gunshots fired that killed Jean. Brown worked closely with the district attorney’s office to ensure Guyger’s conviction, which ultimately resulted in her 10 year prison sentence.
But then, just days after Guyger was found guilty of murder, Brown was shot and killed on Oct. 3. Dallas police announced Tuesday that it had arrested Jacquerious Mitchell, a 20-year-old Black man who reportedly told cops that he and two other men traveled from Louisiana to Dallas “to purchase drugs from Brown.” When the alleged drug deal reportedly turned physical for some undisclosed reason, cops say Mitchell claimed Brown shot him in the chest. That was when the police claimed Mitchell said Brown was also shot twice in the chest by Thaddeus Green, a 22-year-old who was still at large as of Friday afternoon. Michael Mitchell, 32, was the suspected getaway driver in the Friday incident. He was arrested at a Louisiana motel on Tuesday evening, according to NBC News.
The police have yet to present evidence of the alleged drug deal, aside from cops claiming that they “confiscated 12 pounds of marijuana, 149 grams of THC cartridges and $4,157 in cash” from Brown’s apartment. It was also unclear why Brown would take part in a drug deal when he was fresh off his high-profile testimony during the Guyger murder trial.
Brown was expected to testify in the upcoming civil trial being brought against the city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department by Jean’s family. With the elimination of his witness testimony that many people credited for helping to convict Guyger, the Dallas Police Department now has a better chance to defend itself in court whenever the civil trial starts.
According to the Jean family’s attorney, S. Lee Merritt, Brown didn’t even want to testify initially. “The State knew Joshua Brown didn’t want to testify due to concerns for his safety,” he tweeted Tuesday morning. “He flew to California when the trial began. They threatened him with jail if he didn’t return. He went straight from the airport to the court. Dallas County has a duty to protect him. They failed.”
Since Brown’s death, many publications have continually criminalized Brown despite the 28-year-old’s transparency about his criminal record during Guyger’s murder trial.
Dallas police have insisted that Brown’s murder is not connected to Guyger’s murder trial. Many people, including those behind the Change.org petition, are not convinced.
“Without FBI involvement, any investigation will be permanently tainted by possible bias or corruption within the Dallas Police Department,” the petition reads. “There is a clear need for outside eyes to gather information, speak to witnesses, and get to the bottom of this young man’s murder.”