Saying they will address “grave concerns’ over the fatal shooting of an unarmed black man, a group of local pastors have scheduled a news conference and prayer gathering Monday in front of police headquarters.
The African American Pastors Coalition will host the event at noon Monday, demanding answers in the killing of Botham Jean who was shot to death Thursday night in his own apartment.
Off-duty Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, a four-year veteran, of Dallas, walked into what she believed was her own apartment after her shift had ended, encountered Botham Jean and opened fire on him, police said.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall has said it was not clear what the interaction was between Jean and Guyger.
Guyger was taken into custody in Kaufman County and charged with manslaughter a little after 7 p.m. on Sunday following an independent investigation by the Texas Rangers.
She posted a $300,000 bond and was released from jail less than an hour later.
“We acknowledge that police officers have a dangerous job but that does not excuse infringing on the rights of private citizens in their own homes,” according to a statement released Sunday by the African American pastors group.
The coalition is a diverse group of churches in the Dallas area.
The group plans to recognize Jean as an analyst at Price Waterhouse in Dallas and an active member of West Dallas Church of Christ, and at the same time, thanking Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and the police chief for working with the community to keeping communications open during the investigation.
The Dallas association believes Guyger should have been arrested and charged by now.
“We demand an open, transparent, and full investigation and that she be held accountable for her actions,” according to a statement by the group.
The Texas Rangers are investigating the fatal shooting which occurred about 10 p.m. Thursday at the South Side Flats, 1210 S. Lamar St.
“This is the worst call any mother can get,” his mother, Allison Jean, told WFAA-TV. “This is the worst pain.
The police chief has said she had made the decision on Friday to seek a warrant for manslaughter on Guyger based on the evidence she had gathered.
But Texas Rangers investigators they decided to postpone pursuing a warrant until they could follow up on information they received from an interview with the officer.
In a news conference on Saturday evening, attorney Lee Merritt said the family is upset that an arrest warrant hasn’t been issued.
“We are continuing to pray for Mr. Jean’s family,” the police chief has said. “And ask that the community remain patient as this investigation is conducted.”
According to the Dallas Police Department’s blog, Guyger has been involved in a shooting before. In 2017, she shot Uvaldo Perez, 47.
Officers from the Crime Response Team, which Guyger was a member of, responded to the 8300 block of Reva Street after receiving information from undercover officers that a wanted woman as at the location. The woman was in a car with Perez and when police arrived, Perez left the vehicle and confronted the officers, police said.
Perez grabbed one of the officer’s Tasers. He was eventually charged.
On the Thursday night shooting, Guyger is on administrative leave pending criminal and administrative investigations.
The news conference and prayer gathering will be at Dallas police headquarters, 1400 S. Lamar St.