DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – The head of the Dallas Police Association is calling for the Amber Guyger murder trial, scheduled to begin Monday, September 23, to be delayed.
Sgt. Mike Mata is calling for the trial to be delayed 60 to 90 days based on safety concerns.READ MORE: Haltom City Police Officer Dies After Battle With COVID-19
Officers have been denied time off and are undergoing crowd control training in preparation for the outcome of the trial which has generated a year of protests, threats and stirred up emotions on both sides.
A jury will soon decide if Amber Guyger committed murder when she shot and killed Botham Jean inside their apartment building.
Guyger said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.READ MORE: Dallas Nonprofit Serving More Students' Mental Health Needs Since COVID-19 Pandemic Started
The leader of the Dallas Police Association, which represents nearly 3,000 officers, says if city leaders are concerned enough about reaction to the verdict to prepare for riots, then it’s irresponsible to hold the trial during a time when the department is stretched thin protecting hundreds of thousands of people at the State Fair of Texas.
“We’re going to have this trial during period of time that we have 1 million people come visit the city within a calendar month,” said Sgt. Mata. “Within those two weeks we will have 1 million people come in and out of that fair and I think it’s just very, very poor leadership. I do believe that the smart thing would’ve been to just delay this trial 60 days, 90 days. It’s unheard of that a trial any trial much less a trial of this magnitude didn’t have one delay.”
An attorney for the parents of Botham Jean tells CBS 11 News that the call by the DPA is designed only to, “fan the flames of discord and fear and should be rejected.”MORE NEWS: School Libraries Under New Scrutiny As Texas Lawmaker Questions Kids' Access To Books On Race, Sexuality
At this point, the DPA doesn’t expect the judge or the Dallas County District Attorney’s office to support their call for a delay.