After Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean, many Dallas community members called for justice, saying the sentence wasn't nearly long enough.
As soon as the verdict was announced, a crowd waiting outside the courtroom marched toward TV cameras chanting, “No justice, no peace.” That sentiment echoed through a protest outside the courthouse that evening. Speaking to the crowd, the founder of Next Generation Action Network, Dominique Alexander, outlined his desire to hit the city where it hurts.
“If we can’t get justice, there won’t be a damn Texas-OU game, there won’t be a State Fair, anything going on, because [we’re going to] shut it down,” he said.
On Thursday, Alexander clarified that his organization has no concrete plans to protest at the State Fair or the Texas-OU game, but there will be a demonstration at City Hall next week. In addition to protests, they plan to send letters to major Fortune 500 companies like AT&T and American Airlines, asking them to withdraw support from the city until its organizations take steps toward racial reconciliation.
Alexander hopes that crippling the city economically will force a conversation about race relations and corruption in the law enforcement process.
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He wants to see widespread police reform in Dallas that leads to open and transparent policing. It's the current culture of policing that led to Jean's death, he said.
Speaking to the press after the sentencing announcement, Jean's mother, Allison Jean, called for the city of Dallas to take a look at how relations got to that point.
"That 10 years in prison is 10 years for (Guyger's) reflection and for her to change her life, but there is much more to be done by the city of Dallas," she said. "The corruption that we saw during this process must stop. It must stop for you, because I'm leaving Dallas, but you live in Dallas. It must stop for everyone. ... If Amber Guyger was trained not to shoot in the heart, my son would be standing here today."
It's his duty to act on those words, Alexander said. Going forward, reform will require a multipronged approach, including open conversation, economic action and protest.