The North Texas chapter of Democratic Socialists of America condemns the murder of Botham Jean by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger, as well as the failure, to date, on behalf of DPD Police Chief Hall, the Texas Rangers, and District Attorney Faith Johnson in securing justice for Jean’s murder. We demand public and transparent communication surrounding the process and handling of the investigation by the three aforementioned agencies and the release of the toxicology report and 911 tape. Though Guyger has been terminated, and thus, cannot use her badge to kill again, we call for Guyger to be indicted for murder. The lack of action would indicate a dangerous precedent: that the state can enter our homes and kill without consequences. We echo the calls for justice on behalf of Jorge Olguin, Lyndo Jones, and all others who have been brutalized or killed by the police. We express solidarity with the nine protestors who spent two days in jail, longer than the police officer who took Botham Jean’s life, for daring to ask for accountability, and denounce the maneuverings by the Dallas Police Association in undermining any sort of consequences for Guyger.
DSA North Texas remains resolute in our conviction that the police and the prison system have no place in a socialist world. We recognize that, as we build our efforts to bring change, it will be the police who break up our protests, the police who remove us from council chambers, the police who still hold a monopoly on violence. It will be the police who deport our undocumented community, who terrorize immigrants, and who brutalize and kill with impunity–especially black people, Indigenous people, queer people, people with disabilities, and the unsheltered and poor.
We echo and support the list of demands built by Mothers Against Police Brutality as follows:
- Stand up to police misconduct and reopen and review past officer involved shooting cases
- Stop cash bail imprisonment
- Train prosecutors in implicit bias
- Require all staff to report any police misconduct they uncover and provide “whistleblower” protection for such reporting
- Require the public integrity unit to conduct a independent investigation and present charges to the grand jury when a officer shoots a person, treats a person with excessive force. Or when a suspect dies in police custody
- Protect immigrants
- Stop pursuing the death penalty
- Use independent prosecutors when an officer shoots a person, treats a suspect with excessive force, or when a suspect dies in police custody
- Refuse to prosecute a person that has been racially profiled or treated with excessive force by police
- Treat addiction as a medical problem not a crime
- End civil asset forfeiture abuse
We firmly believe strong and well-resourced communities do not require repression, and by extension, repressive institutions to keep peace. If you’d like to express solidarity and support for Botham’s family in their quest for justice, we ask that you join them this Saturday, September 29th, at 10 am, at Frank Crowley Court.