DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Nine people arrested while protesting the shooting death of Botham Jean, walked out of jail Tuesday, after two days behind bars.
The group was accused of blocking traffic during a demonstration outside AT&T Stadium Sunday.
As they left the jail Tuesday morning, some said they expected to be out the same night. Instead they spent a night in Arlington, and a night in Fort Worth, before walking out with what they said will essentially be, a $100 ticket.
“At the least, we thought we would have at least spoke to a judge, Sunday or at least Monday,” said one man, who declined to give his name.
Several of them also remarked their stay was longer than a police officer they were demonstrating against.
“We shouldn’t even of been in there,” one man said. “Amber Guyger didn’t stay in there. She walked in and walked out.”
The group was part of a crowd outside AT&T Stadium Sunday, trying to draw more attention to the shooting death of Botham Jean, by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger.
Arlington police took them into custody, for a misdemeanor charge of obstructing a highway.
Some in the group said Tuesday they were praying in the crosswalk, and that police allowed the demonstration but then would not allow them to leave.
Some cities were concerned early this year that a shift in Tarrant County to having the Sheriff hold everyone arrested, could leave people in jail longer, for lesser crimes.
The move though put Tarrant County in line with all other Texas counties, and was meant to help set bonds that are more fair across the board.
Defense attorney Benson Varghese, of Fort Worth law firm Varghese Summersett has been following the change this year. He isn’t connected to the case or any of the defendants but said the following: “It is becoming less common to see a person booked-in over the weekend to be in custody until Tuesday without a bond,” he wrote in an email Tuesday.“However, delays occasionally happen. For instance, if the judge is waiting on paperwork from the arresting agency, or an evaluation to be completed…”
The Tarrant County Sheriff’s Office didn’t respond to questions Tuesday.
That group of nine, now has a couple attorneys setting up a legal team to handle their cases for a low cost, or possibly free.