DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – “Every single Dallas police officer has to say his name. Yeah? Where do you work? What’s your address? 555 Botham Jean Blvd. They will say his name,” said Botham Jean’s mother, Allison Jean.
For the moment, Allison Jean’s island accent tilts with joy.READ MORE: Most Popular Dog And Cat Names Of 2021: Is Your Pet's Name On The List?
The family has again travelled from their native St. Lucia for a bittersweet return to Dallas.
On Saturday, March 27, a stretch of South Lamar from Interstate 30 to South Central Expressway will be renamed in Botham’s honor.
“So I am separating the honor that is going to be bestowed on him tomorrow, from the accountability that is required for his death,” says Allison Jean. “Please don’t mix the two. They are not one in the same, okay? They are not one in the same.”
Dallas was her son’s adopted home and where in September of 2018 he was shot and killed in his own apartment by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger.
Guyger later said she thought his apartment was her own and that she had mistaken him for an intruder.
She is appealing her 10-year prison sentence and the family says the appeal, reflects a lack of remorse.READ MORE: McKinney, Texas Man Addison Mays Sentenced To 40 Years For Continuous Sexual Abuse Of A Child
But that’s not all that haunts them.
“Every time there is another person killed by a police officer, we all have to relieve our trauma,” adds his sister Alissa Charles-Findley. “I want to move forward. I want to grieve. But I can’t do that if there are constant reminders of what we suffered.”
While managing their own grief and pain, Botham Jean’s family has also worked to comfort the families of others lost to police violence.
“If I did not know the Lord,” says Allison Jean, “I believe that I would have been either crazy or dead… that’s all that keeps me going.”
The family says the name change is a small, but significant step. It ensures that his name will never be forgotten, but their mission is now more than remembrance.
“Even rookie police officers with the Dallas Police Dept. I want them to ask ‘why is this street named Botham Jean?’ So persons can answer: he was an innocent man killed in his own apartment, by a police officer,” says his sister, Alissa Charles-Findley. “I want people to ask questions so that we can see change. It’s not a matter of just asking the question… we need to also start looking for solutions so that this will never happen again.”
The renaming ceremony gets underway at noon on Saturday and will be streamed live here.MORE NEWS: Dallas DART To Reserve Seat At Front Of Every Bus This Week To Honor Rosa Parks
“I knew my son was destined for greatness,” says Allison Jean, “but I didn’t know that it would come that way.”