DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Botham Jean Boulevard was officially unveiled on Saturday as a way to honor the man who was tragically killed in his own apartment by a Dallas officer.
The new street name covers a stretch of South Lamar Street from Interstate-30 to South Central Expressway. Among the locations on Botham Jean Boulevard are the Dallas Police Department headquarters and the South Side Flats, where Jean lived.READ MORE: Texas Legislature Could Make COVID-19 Liability Lawsuits Harder To Win
A ceremony was held Saturday in front of a stoplight where the name was unveiled. Mayor Johnson spoke about why he wanted to honor Jean in this way.
“My attitude is why not name a street after someone who embodies the very spirit of what this city is supposed to be about. Somebody who was not from here… could have gone anywhere he wanted to but chose to make Dallas, Texas his home,” Johnson said. “And didn’t just live here quietly… he contributed to this city. He found a church home… and contributed to making Dallas a better city.”
Jean came to the U.S. from the island of St. Lucia and went to Harding University in Arkansas. He moved to Dallas and worked as an accountant.
He was shot and killed in Sept. 2018 by former Dallas officer Amber Guyger, who is in prison on a 10-year sentence after being convicted for murder. She claimed she thought she had walked into her own apartment and that Jean was an intruder.
Jean’s family now speaks for change that they believe needs to happen within the city, as well as within police departments.READ MORE: 2 Suspects In Custody And Hospitalized Following Chase, Shootout In Johnson County
“Every time there is another person killed by a police officer, we all have to relieve our trauma,” Jean’s sister, Alissa Charles-Findley, said on Friday before the ceremony. “I want to move forward. I want to grieve. But I can’t do that if there are constant reminders of what we suffered.”
The family says the new street name is a small but significant step in seeing change to ensure Jean’s name is never forgotten.
“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,” Jean’s mother, Allison, said on Friday.
Mayor Johnson also proclaimed Saturday, March 27, 2021, as Botham Shem Jean Day in Dallas. He presented the official proclamation to Jean’s family during the ceremony on Saturday.
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We are proud that Botham Shem Jean chose to live in Dallas. His life was tragically cut short, but he lived the right way, and he continues to inspire others. And now, he is forever part of our city — a pathway for the people of Dallas. #BeLikeBo #BothamJeanBoulevard pic.twitter.com/m8TrH5MRo6
— Mayor Eric Johnson (@Johnson4Dallas) March 27, 2021
At the end of his speech, Johnson spoke directly to the family about the street renaming, saying “The city of Dallas mourns with you. We honor your son’s legacy, and hopefully this is just a small demonstration of how we feel about the contributions that your son made in the very short period of time that we had him here.”