It was nearly two years ago that Botham Jean was shot and killed in his own apartment by a Dallas police officer. Now the death of George Floyd in Minnesota has left some of the people who knew Jean best wondering if anything has changed.
“From what I’m seeing there is not much that has changed, there is still a lot of fear of the black male in America,” said Pastor Sammie Berry, of Dallas West Church of Christ.
Berry knew Jean and later his family and was shocked by the video of Minneapolis police officers pinning George Floyd to the ground moments before he became unresponsive.
“You would never treat another human like that, you would never treat another human the way I saw him being treated on that video,” Berry said.
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On Thursday, other members of ‘The Dallas Area Preachers and Church Leaders’ group gathered to call for justice and offer their support to the family of Floyd.
“I just feel a personal responsibility and others who are part of this fellowship feel an obligation to speak out against the shear and raw brutality and lack of respect for humanity that we saw displayed,” Senior Minister Johnathan Morrison, of Cedar Crest Church of Christ, said.
Morrison and Berry both agreed that Jean’s memory continues to loom large and while they believe he would certainly speak out, his instinct to love others would also come through.
“Believe me, he would respond, he believed in social justice,” Berry said. “But it would be a loving response because he loved all people.”