DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – A group of community activists say they don’t trust Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson to aggressively prosecute the criminal case against former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger.
An online petition with 170,000 signatures is demanding that the manslaughter charge facing the former Dallas Police officer be upgraded to murder.
Johnson is not responding to the petition submitted by activists who worry that her office will be influenced by politics to go lightly on the accused former officer.
There were chants outside the courthouse in support of justice for Botham Jean.
The DA has said it will be solely up to the grand jury to decide on the proper charge and manslaughter is only one of several it will consider.
The petitions were hand delivered to the DA’s Office on the 11th floor.
The groups that include Color of Change and Mothers Against Police Brutality say Thursday’s hung jury in the trial of a former Mesquite officer who shot an unarmed man cast doubts on Faith Johnson’s ability to punish bad officers.
“We need Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson to cut through the noise and make good on her promise to get justice in this case we cannot allow the state to tell people who are living in fear that this can happen to them that the police will get away with it when they kill and brutalize us,” said Clarise McCants of Color of Change. “There have been many times that Faith Johnson has refused to answer the call for justice and we are calling on her to do what’s right in those instances too we cannot allow her to hang her hat on doing what’s right when the world is watching.”
The community activists believe the DA is getting pressure behind the scenes from law enforcement and her fellow Republicans to avoid a murder indictment.