DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Following the sentencing of former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall spoke about the case and the impact it had on the perception of the Dallas Police Department.
“Dallas today is different than it was yesterday and definitely different than it was a year ago,” Chief Hall said. “We were so moved today by Botham’s brother and his asking of Amber Guyger a hug and we were equally moved when Judge Kemp gifted her with a bible. That’s the spirit with which I and I believe we, want to move forward.”
Chief Hall said some of the sworn testimony heard during the trial gives her concern.
“What you saw and heard was disheartening and I can only imagine the community’s perception of who we are as a Dallas Police Department and if we’re truly honest with each other, who law enforcement is across this country.”
Chief Hall said the department has work to do, saying she’s fully committed to making the changes that need to be made.
“The testimony that came out in this trial is not reflective of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department. The men and women of the Dallas Police Department. show up every day with integrity, professionalism and dedication to protecting the residents of this community. And it doesn’t reflect where I want to take this organization.
“I acknowledge there are things we need to change. There are areas of concern we need to address,” Chief Hall said. “Changing the perception of law enforcement, it begins with us. We must double our efforts to continue to build trust. We must ensure that our partnerships are stronger than they ever have been before.”
Chief Hall said she would launch an internal affairs investigation into some of the things that came out during the trial.
“There was testimony as to allegations of tampering with in car video cameras. There was failure to render aid during a use of force incident, a shooting, and multiple other things that came out in that trial. And so we’re not backing away from those things. We have to first find out what, if any of those things have merit and then move forward.”
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson released the following statement on the trial on Wednesday evening:
Now that the criminal justice system has discharged its duties, I want to thank the members of the jury for rendering their judgment in this unprecedented case.
This has been a difficult year for our city. Botham Jean was a man who had so much to offer society and who represented the very best of Dallas. No amount of earthly justice could ever fill the void created by this crime.
My thoughts are and will continue to be with the Jean family. I was deeply moved by Brandt Jean’s words and actions in the courtroom today during his victim impact statement. I will never, ever forget the incredible examples of love, faith and strength personified by Botham, Brandt and the entire Jean family.
As a city, we have challenges to address, but I hope that this day will give the Jean family some measure of peace and that our city can begin to heal.