Funeral services were held today for Botham Shem Jean, the 26-year-old black man who was shot and killed in his apartment by off-duty police Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. As previously reported in Inquisitr, Guyger reportedly entered Jean's apartment at around 10 p.m. on Thursday. She encountered Jean in his own apartment, shot, and killed him.
Guyger was arrested on Sunday and charged with manslaughter. She was released from the Kaufman County Jail on Sunday evening after posting a $300,000 bond. Jean's shooting has sparked local and national outrage, with many pointing to this as just one more example of racism in law enforcement.
CBS reports that Jean's services were held at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas. Hundreds of attendees gathered to pay their respects. Among the attendees were Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings, Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins, Bishop T.D. Jakes, and Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall. A second funeral service for Jean will be held later in St. Lucia, where he will be buried.
Jean was a native of St. Lucia and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC ) in Dallas. He was known for his leadership and community service in both the U.S. and St. Lucia. Michael Griffin, minister at the Singing Hills Church of Christ, gave the welcome and commented on Jean's character.
"Celebrate the life of this young man. Celebrate the fact that God gave the world this young, energetic, smart, educated, talented, young man of God."According to Guyger's arrest affidavit, the officer said she thought she was entering her own apartment and thought she encountered a burglar. Many have poked holes in Guyger's statements and questioned her narrative of that night's events.
Over 100 people protested at Dallas City Hall on Monday in response to the killing. CNN reports that residents and activists condemned the shooting while calling for an upgrade of the police-citizen review board. They want the board to have powers to subpoena and investigate abuses by police to ensure more police accountability. Mayor Mike Rawlings temporarily halted the proceedings as protesters interrupted the council sessions, and others chanted "No justice, no peace."Demonstrator Olinka Green stated that the police citizen review board "must have teeth. It must have subpoena power. It must be able to hold these police officers accountable for what they do. Because if we were to do the same thing, you guarantee we'd be locked up tight."
Jean came to the U.S. for college and attended Harding College in Searcy, Arkansas, before moving to Dallas and working for PwC. He participated in student government at Harding, sang with the Good News Singers, and was a lifelong member of the Church of Christ, where he also led worship.