Why haven’t the nine people arrested for protesting police shooting of Botham Jean been released?

Botham Shem Jean thegrio.com AP
Dr. Pamela Grayson raises her fist as "Young King" Solomon Grayson, 6, peaks behind her sign during a Mothers Against Police Brutality candlelight vigil for Botham Jean at the Jack Evans Police Headquarters on Friday, Sept. 7, 2018, in Dallas. Authorities are seeking a manslaughter warrant for the Dallas police officer who shot and killed Jean after she said she mistook his apartment for her own, police said Friday. (Shaban Athuman/The Dallas Morning News via AP)

TheGrio has launched a special series called #BlackonBlue to examine the relationship between law enforcement and African-Americans. Our reporters and videographers will investigate police brutality and corruption while also exploring local and national efforts to improve policing in our communities. Join the conversation, or share your own story, using the hashtag #BlackonBlue.

Protestors marching in the name of Botham Jean peacefully blocked traffic outside the AT&T Stadium in Dallas sunday, and nine people were arrested.

Activists carry coffins to Dallas Cowboys game to protest fatal police shooting of Botham Jean

The nine people were charged with traffic obstruction and were booked into the Arlington City Jail between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. before being moved to Tarrant County Jail on Monday, the Dallas News reports

The people arrested were Stephanie Briant, 29, Darryl Burnham, 31, Miracle Freeman, 29, Arminta Jeffreys, 25, Michael Lowe, 38, Melissa Perry, 33, Davante Peters, 25, Lelani Russell, 25, and Dion Williams, 29, according to reports.

So why haven’t they been released?

Protestors took to the streets to keep the pressure on the neck of prosecutors, as the cop who killed the unarmed Black man in his own home, Amber Guyger, faces manslaughter charges for the fatal shooting.

Outside of the AT&T Stadium in Arlington, Texas, during the Dallas Cowboy’s game, demonstrators pushed empty coffins to protest recent police shootings. One coffin was for Jean and the other was for O’Shae Terry. Both were fatally shot by police in North Texas.

Jean family attorney, Lee Merritt, wants the police officer responsible for Jean’s death, charged with murder instead of manslaughter. Guyger was charged and released on bond. She has also reportedly moved from the apartment building where she shot and killed 26-year-old Jean after claiming that she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment.

The protesters were arrested late Sunday after blocking traffic at N. Collins Street and E. Randol Mill Road outside of AT&T Stadium, Arlington police spokesman Lt. Christopher Cook said.

According to Cook, Arlington police can’t set bond for arrests involving Class B misdemeanor charges or higher. Therefore, inmates had to first be transferred to the Tarrant County Jail and go before a magistrate to have their bond set.

Attorney Merritt said in a written statement that the nine protesters split off from the rest of the group and “peacefully engaged in an act of civil disobedience by obstructing traffic into the game.”

Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger moved out of apartment complex after fatal shooting of Botham Jean

“This treatment of citizens outraged by the very corruption from which they now suffer is intolerable”” Merritt said in the statement.

Merritt said he learned Monday evening the protesters would remain in jail overnight.

Merritt criticized the police for not giving the protestors a lower charge of a Class C misdemeanor, instead of a Class B highway obstruction charge, so they could be cited and released. Cook argued that it was the only option police had.

Protesters say they “will continue indefinitely in the city of Dallas and Arlington until justice is served,” Merritt said. 

“We will not stop until justice rolls down like water,” activist and protest organizer Dominique Alexander told the group. 

Another protest is planned for Tuesday during a Dallas City Council meeting.