DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) — Today the City of Dallas honors the memory of a man shot and killed in his own home by a then police officer who has since been convicted of murder.
Mayor Eric Johnson has declared September 29th #BeLikeBo Day.
“Here was a Black man who had done everything right and was in the comfort of his own home… and still was killed by someone in a police uniform,” said Johnson.
To understand what the day is all about CBS 11 is taking a closer look at the man the day was named after — Botham Shem Jean.
Botham Jean was born September 29, 1991 in Saint Lucia. Today would have been his 29th birthday.
From an early age Botham was devout in helping those less fortunate than he and passionately supported several organizations in his home country.
After graduating from Harding University in Arkansas, Botham moved to Dallas to take a job as an accountant at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
At his memorial service Minister Michael Griffin said, “To know Botham was to love Botham. He was a light in a dark room.”
Being a man of God Botham joined the Dallas West Church Of Christ and often led the congregation in song.
Botham’s mentor Tommy Bush broke down in tears recalling the plans made for the future. “Botham even knows the songs, our favorite songs, that he was to lead at my funeral… at my funeral,” he said. “This was not supposed to work this way.”
Botham Jean lived by the motto — ‘change a life today’. That’s why the message behind #BeLikeBo Day is to make a positive change in the lives of others.
Mayor Johnson said this about the special day:
“By giving back to his community, he set an example that all Dallasites can live by. I encourage everyone to Be Like Bo on his birthday this year and let the legacy of his short, bright life transcend the tragedy of his death.”
Botham’s family will gather to talk about his legacy tonight at the Black Academy of Arts and Letters. There will also be an exclusive screening of an ‘Impact of Murder’ episode titled ‘The Ballad of Botham Jean’.