A portion of Lamar Street in Dallas has officially been dedicated as Botham Jean Boulevard.
The renamed street is in honor of Botham Jean, 26, who was shot and killed inside his own apartment by now former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. The Sept. 2018 shooting was followed by a trial one year later when Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Jean’s family was in Dallas this weekend for the renaming ceremony. It included a video message from Prime Minister Allen Chastanet of Saint Lucia, where Jean was born.
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"Now that he has a boulevard named after him, this is a reminder every day of what he stood for and the need to continue his journey," said Prime Minister Chastanet.
His sister, Alissa Findley, said the event was bittersweet.
“We want everyone to forever say his name but for this sign to be up here, that means he’s not with us. It’s hard for us,” Findley said Saturday. “I thought I was going to be strong because it’s supposed to be a celebration, but I miss my brother and I want him back.”
Jean’s mother Allison echoed those sentiments, adding the ceremony forces them to recall the night of the shooting. According to Guyger’s testimony, she mistook Jean’s apartment for hers and thought he was an intruder before she fired her gun.
“Immediately following his death, one of the things I said was that I want his name to be remembered. I wanted people to know who he was, what he stood for,” Allison Jean said. “Knowing the way he lived his life, it was really unjust in the way he lost his life.”
During the ceremony, a video tribute was played as Jean’s family watched on stage in tears. The video included pictures and videos of Jean performing with church members, along with words from friends and coworkers.
“When I watched the video, there was some people in the video I don’t even know but you would notice that the theme cut across everyone who spoke: how Botham lived. He was affable, he was a caring individual, he loved people,” his mother said.
“He had this quest to make this world a better place. I used to ask him, 'how did you do that? I know that God sent one son who was Jesus Christ. I didn’t know he sent two'. He said, ‘Mommy…for as much as doing it to the least of my brothers, you do it to me.' He has quoted that scripture to me. So, that’s what I want people to know about Botham. He was very Christ-like. He lived his life always thinking of reaching out to people. Black, white, Latino, Chinese, Indian, everyone. He did not know any color.”
The ceremony was also attended by civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump.
“We all can do ‘mo’ and be like Bo’, as his family has taught us, his legal team and everybody,” Crump said. “Bo always tried to do more everyday to help more people.”
Beyond physical reminders of his life like the one unveiled Saturday, Jean's family is working to make sure he still has an impact through the Botham Jean Foundation.
The Jean family will be back in North Texas in April when former officer Amber Guyger appears in court to appeal her prison sentence. They also plan to travel to Austin next week, hoping to bring new police and criminal justice reform.