Dallas Mayor Eric JohnsonEric JohnsonGood news: We have reason to 'lift every voice and celebrate' Texas governor faces criticism over handling of winter storm fallout Dallas mayor proclaiming Sept. 29, Botham Jean's birthday, '#BeLikeBo Day' MORE (D) will proclaim Sept. 29 “#BeLikeBo Day” in honor of Botham Jean, a Black man who was fatally shot in his own apartment by an off-duty officer who said she entered his unit by mistake in 2018.
Johnson made the announcement on Sunday, exactly two years from the day Jean was killed.
“Botham Jean's death was an unfathomable calamity, but his life embodied a spirit of service and kindness,” Johnson said in statement. “By giving back to his community, he set an example that all Dallasites can live by.”
“I encourage everyone to Be Like Bo on his birthday this year and let the legacy of his short, bright life transcend the tragedy of his death,” Johnson continued.
Jean was 26 years old when he was fatally shot by former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger in early September 2018. Guyger, who was off duty at the time, said she had entered his home after mistaking his unit for her own and then shot Jean.
She was fired from the police department after his death and sentenced to 10 years behind bars in October 2019. Guyger will eligible for parole in the next few years.
Jean would have been 29 years old this month.
He was born in Saint Lucia but attended college at Harding University in Arkansas. He had relocated to Dallas after graduating in 2016 and receiving a role with PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Sammie L. Berry, minister of the Dallas West Church of Christ, where Johnson’s office said Jean “often led the congregation in song,” said in a statement that Jean’s “voice was silenced too soon.”
But he said the new proclamation by Johnson will be a way for people “to remember what he stood for: love, service, sharing, and giving,” adding: “Any act of service, large or small, is a way of honoring his life.”
The proclamation comes amid continued protests in the nation following the police killings of George Floyd, Breonna Taylor and the recent shooting of Jacob Blake.