Greater Dallas, Texas has been the site of two unjust killings of African-Americans by area police in recent weeks. On September 1, O’Shae Terry was shot to death by an Arlington police officer. On September 6, Botham Jean was killed by Dallas police officer Amber Guyger as she broke into his apartment and shot him several times.
Members of the Party for Socialism and Liberation joined with Dallas religious leaders and Lee Merritt—the attorney for both families—to call for a protest march. All of the participants demanded that Guyger be fired and charged with murder. They also called upon the media to apologize for callously reporting on the day he was buried the discovery of a small amount of marijuana Jean’s apartment.
The leaders chose to hold the protest at AT&T Stadium, home of the Dallas Cowboys football team. They chose this site because of all the NFL owners, Jerry Jones has been the most outspoken against players kneeling during the national anthem to protest such race-based police brutality as these two incidents. Frederick Haynes—pastor of the Friendship West Baptist Church—said, “Since you told your players they cannot protest, use your platform now to speak out against this vile and vicious murder that took place. Let us know that you are not just concerned about making money with Black bodies, but you are concerned about the safety of all Black bodies. Because guess what? We are Americans as well.” After speaking at the entrance of the stadium, protestors took a knee to demonstrate solidarity with NFL players who have done so and spoken out against police brutality.
As the marchers left, one group broke off and entered a nearby intersection to block traffic to continue the protest. After disobeying orders to disperse, nine people were arrested by the Arlington police. They were held for several hours in the Arlington jail and then longer at the Tarrant County jail. In contrast, Amber Guyger was held for less than two hours before her bail was posted.
On September 30, PSL members joined with Botham Jean’s girlfriend, Cynthia Johnson, to present a petition with thousands of signatures to the district attorney urging her to charge Guyger with murder.