Botham Shem Jean was fatally shot by a Dallas police officer who says she mistook him for a burglar in his own home. Jean was careful to avoid police officers before he was killed by one. What’s hard to fathom is, he was killed in his own home, while minding his own business and watching a football game like any other Friday night.
Botham Shem Jean had gone out of his way to avoid even routine encounters with police, his mother, Allison Jean, said during a visit to New York City on Thursday with her lawyer, Lee Merritt. Jean said her son had to explain life in America — where for black men in particular, a minor traffic stop can turn deadly — to his family back home on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia.
“I always told him, ‘Why do you have to be so dressy?’” Jean recalled in an interview. “He said ‘Mom, I don’t want to be stopped. I don’t want for them to think I’m somebody I’m not.’”
In 2016, when Botham Jean moved to Dallas to take an internship with the accounting firm PwC, formerly known as PricewaterhouseCoopers, he made sure to transfer his car registration within the 30-day limit.
Unlike many mothers of African-American boys, Allison Jean, who headed several government agencies on St. Lucia, never gave her son, a risk assurance associate, a talk about avoiding police.
How much his race played a role in what happened when Amber R. Guyger, a white off-duty Dallas police officer, arrived at Jean’s door on the night of Sept. 6 is unclear, as are many of the details of what led to the shooting.
Why are Blacks Not safe in America?
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