DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — At least two peaceful gatherings are planned for tomorrow morning ahead of the Amber Guyger trial in Dallas — both are expected to take place outside the Frank Crowley Courts building.
Faith leaders and activists close to Botham Jean’s family are hosting the gatherings.
Next Generation Action Network activist Dominique Alexander said they have been waiting a whole year for this moment.
“At the end of the day, we’re just trying to make sure that everybody has all of the avenues on how they can get involved,” Alexander said.
Starting at 8 a.m. Monday morning, a prayer circle will take place outside the building led by local faith leaders. After that, a “Solidarity of Peace for Botham Jean” rally.
“One of the things that we want to be is very strong for that family,” Alexander said.
Minister Jon W. Morrison of Cedar Crest Church of Christ said they want to really honor Jean and the “God he served.”
“We want to emphasize — again in the spirit of Botham — the heart of having peaceful dialogue and peaceful demonstrations,” Morrison said.
And knowing that this is a high-profile trial, there will be increased law enforcement and tighter screening of those coming and going.
“Anytime there’s a trial this big, it’s a high-profile trial. The sheriff’s office is committed to making sure everyone is safe,” Raul Reyna of the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department said.
Multiple metal detectors have been moved to the 7th floor — where the trial will take place — to ensure there are no disruptions when testimony begins.
“Community members will be there,” Alexander said. “We’ll be taking shifts. People will keep a continued presence in the courthouse during this time.”
The trial is expected to last at least two weeks. Activists say they’ll have weekly meetings to give the community updates.
Those attending tomorrow’s gatherings are being told to consider using public transit or ride-sharing companies since the downtown area is expected to be more congested than usual.