Botham Jean’s family says they weren’t invited to city’s ‘Bo Day’ celebration
'I don’t know what you want to call it but I see it as gross disrespect.'
Two years after Botham Jean was fatally shot inside his apartment by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyer, the city celebrated “Be like Bo” day on what would have been his 29th birthday on Tuesday.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson proclaimed Sept. 29, 2020 a day of celebrating Jean’s life and work. Jean’s family traveled back to Dallas to observe his birthday, but claim they were not invited to participate in the city hall event announcing “Be like Bo” day, NBC reports.
“I don’t know what you want to call it but I see it as gross disrespect,” Botham’s mother Allison Jean said. “I hate to see people use my son’s name, just for the publicity, just for the optics — that disrespects his family.”
Mayor Johnson’s office said they notified the family about the event through their pastor, who attended the celebration.
“Like my mom said, I call it disrespect, Mayor Johnson has disrespected Botham’s family from day one,” said Jean’s sister, Alisa Charles-Findley.
“My son was never one involved in any confusion, my son was focused, he was clear with what he wanted in life, he respected people and in his death I expect people to give the same to him while he lived,” Allison Jean added.
Earlier this year, the NFL put out a gripping and heartfelt PSA humanizing Botham Jean. The video was part of the #EveryonesChild campaign under the Responsibility Program, a joint initiative between the NFL and Jay-Z’s Roc Nation, theGRIO reported.
The video is narrated by Jean’s mom and sister, and also includes Jean’s father, Bertram Jean.
In the PSA, Allison Jean says “To know Botham was to love him. The world has lost a great man. He was destined for greatness.”
“Botham was everything to us. I just can’t do without him being here,” Botham’s father adds. “I looked forward to the day Botham would have gotten married, having kids. Life is not sweet anymore.”
Returning to Dallas, the Jean family intends to continue their fight for police reform.
“There have been so many other persons killed since Botham, that his name may be forgotten. Because last year we should remember, Jemel Robinson, we should remember EJ Bradford, we should remember Atatiana Jefferson, it comes on this year, it starts off with Ahmaud Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, Rashard Brooks, Jacob Blake, so it’s just growing and growing and growing,” said Allison Jean.
“I think the city of Dallas needs to go back to the words that I used immediately following the trial, that they need to clean up. Because we could see that there is a lot of trouble going on within the police department,” she added.
Guyger was convicted last year for the murder of Botham Jean and sentenced to ten years in prison. In August, she filed an appeal to overturn the conviction.
In recent months, activists and supporters have called for the renaming of Lamar Street to “Botham Jean Boulevard,” which his family believes “is quite appropriate” as it is the “street on which he lived and died,” said Allison Jean.
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