Prayer Gathering, Justice Rally Held on Day 1 of Guyger Murder Trial

The murder trial of fired Dallas police officer Amber Guyger started Monday.

Last year, Guyger shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own apartment. She said she mistook Jean for an intruder, thinking she was entering her own apartment.

Ahead of the start of the trial, two gatherings took place outside the Frank Crowley Courts building. Both had a focus of "Justice for Botham Jean."

The first gathering was a prayer vigil with aproximately two dozen local religious leaders leading a prayer before the start of the trial.

"We gather this morning to seek God's presence and God's justice," said Collin Packer, lead minister at Greenville Oaks Church of Christ.

A short time later, the Next Generation Action Network held a rally outside the courthouse to seek justice. The group held a community meeting to prepare community members for the trial.

Next Generation Action Network called on justice not only for Jean and his family, but for others who have been killed by Dallas police officers.

"When one case goes to trial, all of our cases go to trial," NextGen president Dominique Alexander said.

A conviction, the group said, is a must.

"We're standing with the [Jean] family. We're calling for justice and we are prepared to protest in peaceful way until there is justice for all," said Frederick Haynes, senior pastor at Friendship West-Baptist Church.

Anything less than a conviction, said Alexander, and their voices will be heard.

"If failures in this case come if anything comes other than Amber Guyger being convicted out here, we will demand justice. We will continue to make sure that justice is served in the most peaceful way but also in civil disobedience," he said.

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