Memorial service for St. Lucian national killed by white officer

The Brooklyn-based Caribbean Guyana Institute for Democracy (CGID) says St. Lucian and Caribbean clergy and community leaders will on Wednesday evening lead a memorial service for St. Lucian national Botham Shem Jean, who was killed by a white female police officer in his home in Dallas, Texas on Sept. 6.

CGID said the service will take place at 6:30 pm at the Advent Fellowship of Brooklyn Church, on Bergen Street.

“The service, which will be punctuated by tributes, praise and worship, will be attended by Jean’s parents, other relatives, friends, elected officials, as well as St. Lucian and Caribbean community leaders,” CGID said.

Jean, 26, was shot and killed by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger on the night of Sept. 6, 2018 in his own apartment.

Guyger claimed she took Jean’s apartment for her own and entered by mistake.

Dallas police consequently issued a warrant for Guyger’s arrest for manslaughter and subsequently handed the investigation over to the Texas State police, the Texas Rangers, the highest law enforcement authority in the state.

CGID said Guyger was charged with manslaughter after turning herself in.

The Texas Rangers were widely condemned for giving Guyger preferential treatment, including granting the officer the privilege of turning herself in at a jail in a county outside Dallas, where she was booked and released on US$300,000.00 self-bail, CGID noted.

CGID had written Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson, demanding that Guyger be charged with murder, “based on the facts and circumstances outlined in an affidavit filed in court.”

Dallas community leaders, as well as civil rights leaders across the United States have also called for Guyger to be charged with murder, CGID said.

It said they also condemned Guyger’s “preferential treatment and questioned why she was not arrested at the scene.”

Johnson has said her office is continuing the investigation and has not ruled out additional charges. Jean was funeralized in Dallas, Texas, last Thursday.

CGID said Jean came to the US from St. Lucia in 2011 to study accounting and management information systems at Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas.

After graduating from college and completing a brief internship, he accepted a permanent job in the Dallas office of auditing firm, Price Waterhouse Coopers in 2015, CGID said.

At the time of his death, Jean was a risk assurance associate for Price Waterhouse Coopers.

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