Botham Jean's Parents Want Answers, Support Street Name Change

Proposal to change South Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard

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The parents of the man shot and killed in his own apartment by a Dallas police officer support the proposed name change of the street where he lived and died, but they still want answers from police about the murder investigation.

Botham Jean was killed by former Dallas police Ofc. Amber Guyger on September 6, 2018 at the South Side Flats apartments on South Lamar Street, just blocks away from Dallas Police Headquarters.

Three Dallas City Council members have signed a letter asking to launch the city process for changing the street name to Botham Jean Boulevard.

“Certainly it would be a great honor to have his name placed there,” said Jean’s father Bertrum Jean from his home in St.Lucia.

“The street on which the Dallas Police Department is housed, and this would be very significant,” said Jean’s mother Allison.

Guyger is serving a 10-year sentence for murder after she claimed she thought Jean was a burglar in her home when she entered his apartment by mistake.

Dallas City Councilman Adam Medrano, who represents the neighborhood, said he heard from Jean's parents before he started to pursue the name change.

“They’re initiating this process,” Medrano said. “This is how the family wants him remembered.”

Medrano said he also heard from neighbors like the Dallas Community College District, where the office address would also change.

“There is a lot of community support. I even spoke to major property owners in the area,” Medrano said. “I wanted to make sure I did my due diligence before submitting it and not blindside anyone.”

The change request goes first to the Dallas Plan Commission, where more community input would be invited. 

Medrano said he hoped the name change could reach the Dallas City Council for a final vote by the end of the year.

Activist Devante Peters, who has been promoting the change, said it would be a daily reminder against police brutality.

“All the new cadets would have to interface with Botham Jean, they would have to know who he is and ride on his street every day,” Peters said. “I think that is historic. It needs to happen.”

Jean’s parents said they want him remembered for how he lived in Dallas and not just how he died. The 26-year old accountant was active at this West Dallas Church where he sang and led prayer.

His parents also still want answers from Dallas Police.

After the Guyger trial, police Chief U. Renee Hall promised an internal investigation of issues that became public in court. They included a police union leader’s contact with Guyger immediately after the killing before she was charged, a leak of 911 audio and the handling of body cam video from the case.

Monday, a police spokesman said findings from a public integrity investigation have been forwarded to the Dallas County District Attorney’s office for review.

A spokesperson at the District Attorney’s Office did not return a request for comment.

“I am eagerly awaiting the outcome of these investigations,” Allison Jean said.

The victim’s mother said she is encouraged by some steps that Hall has taken, including restating limits on the use of tear gas and rubber bullets against peaceful demonstrators.

But Allison Jean said she and her family are still crusading for other reforms. She said she is disappointed to see other recent incidents in America.

“I think the United States has a lot of work to do to make that country more attractive to the rest of the world,” Allison Jean said. “Innocent Black people are being killed at the hands of police which shows that proper training is not given to these police officers.”

Before Botham Jean’s death, his mother said she enjoyed visiting Dallas, but after being in the city for the long trial and watching news from the U.S., she is not anxious to return.

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