Lawyers for Botham Jean family slam cops for trying to 'smear' victim

Blanche Robertson
September 14, 2018

Thursday afternoon's funeral for Botham Jean, at Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, was streamed live and is now available as an on-demand video.

Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has been charged with manslaughter in Jean's death after authorities say she entered Jean's apartment - allegedly mistakenly believing it was her own - and fired on him.

According to the affidavit, Botham Jean's apartment number was 1478 and Guyger lived one floor below him in apartment 1378. The apartments are "in most ways identical or extremely similar to the exterior surroundings, structure, and description of each other", the document says.

He says they "cannot let Bo become another statistic". "I want to be a Christian, '" she recalled to the dozens of people seated in the blue pews.

Jean's parents and siblings were overcome with emotion as they entered the church and approached the young accountant's casket. "Botham Shem Jean was a fine man". "To know Botham was to love Botham", said Michael Griffin of Singing Hills Church of Christ. "He was the light in a dark room".

Jean was pronounced dead at Baylor University Medical Center.

Botham grew up in St. Lucia, but the Jean family said he was fully aware of the strained relationship between the black community in America and police. The other one (witness) was in the living room (of her own apartment) watching TV.

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"The sound of gunshots did not have the resonance to be heard on our small island, but their impact was of nuclear proportions", Jean's uncle, Ignatius Jean, told mourners.

Accountability was among the themes several passionate speakers mentioned during Jean's funeral. "Don't tell me not to grieve", Bush cried. He described Jean's death as a tragedy that could have been avoided and said the group wants to know why Guyger has not been fired. Red flowers were passed out to people packing the sanctuary.

"We will not stand by quietly as what we believe to be false narratives that diminish any culpability for the offending officer are advanced", said Minister Sammie Berry of Dallas West Church of Christ, where Jean was a member.

"If it was a reasonable mistake of fact, that's an affirmable defense that is going to weigh into this thing very heavily", said Robert Hinton, another criminal defense attorney. The Texas Department of Public Safety, which is also involved in the investigation, took questions from The Washington Post late Thursday night but public information officers were unavailable to immediately provide responses. The city of Dallas should take action.

Starting at the downtown Dallas police headquarters, protesters marched to Jean's apartment building, urging outcome for his senseless killing. Guyger's blood was drawn to test for drugs and alcohol, Dallas police Chief Renee Hall has said.

Jean's family is heading back to St. Lucia where they are planning another funeral service and burial.

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