Hundreds Mourn Botham Shem Jean At His Funeral As Protesters Demand Change At City Hall
"Botham had an enthusiasm for life that was contagious. His smile lit up a room."
Many questions remain in the tragic killing of Botham Shem Jean, who was shot to death by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in his own apartment.
Guyger claims she thought Jean was in her apartment when she killed him. She was arrested, but has been released on bond.
On Wednesday, a Dallas City Council meeting was temporarily halted by dozens of protesters who came to the meeting demanding justice for Jean. The protesters called on the council to dedicate city resources to ending police brutality and improving police-community relations, KTVT reports.
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"It must have teeth. It must have subpoena power. It must be able to hold these police officers accountable for what they do," activist Olinka Green said of changes the protesters want to see. "Because if we were to do the same thing, you guarantee we'd be locked up tight."
Activist Lelani Russell addressed the council directly during the meeting's open mic segment, the Dallas News reports, and was critical of city leadership's response to Jean's death. "I watched our mayor huff and puff as our people spoke about how they're tired of being killed," Russell said, making it clear that this was unacceptable.
Thursday, following the meeting, Jean's body was finally laid to rest.
Hundreds gathered outside of Singing Hills Church of Christ in Dallas to mourn the 26-year-old, CNN reports.
"Botham had an enthusiasm for life that was contagious. His smile lit up a room. He was passionate about people and — because of his faith — shared his love and joy with everyone," the funeral program read.
"He was the light. He didn't look at color. He loved everybody," said the church's minister Michael Griffin. "He was a person who would give you the shirt off his back, and his sole purpose in life was to make humanity better, just to make you a better person, a better human."
A powerful moment from the funeral for #BothamJean:— WFAA (@wfaa) September 13, 2018'
"Botham Shem Jean was not a silhouette. Botham Shem Jean was a godly man...and Botham Shem Jean belongs to Jesus Christ." - friend Dane Felicien. pic.twitter.com/0GHFQoijwj
Griffin also led a prayer for Jean, whom he referred to as his "brother." He also noted he will continue to pray for the young man's mother, brother and sister as "he was their world. Everybody has that one family member that keeps the family together. He was that."
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