9 arrested during protest of Botham Jean’s killing

By Dallas News

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Top row from left: Stephanie Briant, Darryl Burnham, Miracle Freeman. Middle row from left: Arminta Jeffreys, Michael Lowe, Melissa Perry. Bottom row from left: Davante Peters, Lelani Russell and Dion Williams. (Arlington Police Department)

(DALLAS NEWS) — Nine people were arrested Sunday after blocking traffic during protests outside of a Dallas Cowboys game at AT&T Stadium, Arlington police said.

They were booked into the Arlington City Jail between 8 p.m. and 10 p.m. Sunday and moved Monday to Tarrant County Jail. By late Monday, bond had not been set for any of them on the traffic obstruction charges.

The people arrested were Stephanie Briant, 29, Darryl Burnham, 31, Miracle Freeman, 29, Arminta Jeffreys, 25, Michael Lowe, 38, Melissa Perry, 33, Davante Peters, 25, Lelani Russell, 25, and Dion Williams, 29.

They were part of a protest that featured around 75 people marched holding two coffins outside the stadium ahead of the Cowboys home opener Sunday night. One coffin represented 26-year-old Botham Jean, who was fatally shot by Dallas Officer Amber Guyger. The other represented Oshae Terry, the 24-year-old killed by Arlington officers a few days before Jean’s death.

The protesters were arrested about 7:30 p.m. Sunday after they had blocked traffic at N. Collins Street and E. Randol Mill Road outside of AT&T Stadium, Arlington police spokesman Lt. Christopher Cook said.

Arlington police can’t set bond for arrests involving Class B misdemeanor charges or higher. Inmates had to first be transferred to the Tarrant County Jail and go before a magistrate to have their bond set, Cook said.

Attorney S. Lee Merritt, who is representing Jean’s family, said in a written statement that the nine protesters split off from the rest of the group and “peacefully engaged in an act of civil disobedience by obstructing traffic into the game.”

“This treatment of citizens outraged by the very corruption from which they now suffer is intolerable,” Merritt said in the statement.

Merritt said he learned Monday evening the protesters would remain in jail overnight.

Merritt said police could’ve opted to charge the protesters with a lesser Class C misdemeanor, rather than the Class B highway obstruction charge, so they could be cited and released. But Cook said the charge was the only option police had.

The protesters want Guyger fired from the Dallas Police Department and charged with murder. Guyger was charged with manslaughter three days after the shooting and remains on administrative leave pending the outcome of an internal investigation, police said last week.

Protesters say they “will continue indefinitely in the city of Dallas and Arlington until justice is served,” Merritt said.

On Monday night, dozens gathered in front of Dallas police headquarters and again called for Guyger’s termination. They then took to the street and marched to the Dallas Police Association’s office several blocks away, and again protesters carried an empty casket to symbolize Jean.

“We will not stop until justice rolls down like water,” activist and protest organizer Dominique Alexander told the group.

A protest is planned for Tuesday during a Dallas City Council meeting.

In a statement Monday evening, Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson is urging the community to be patient as her office investigates the shooting.

The district attorney said in a prepared statement Monday evening that she understood public outrage over Jean’s killing but asked residents to let the legal process play out.

“Now is the time to ask for calm in our communities until all the facts are known and presented to a Grand Jury,” Johnson said in the statement. “I also am asking citizens to have faith and patience during the investigation process. You have my word that no stone will be left unturned as we work to uncover all the facts in this case.”

She said that it would be impossible to provide a timeline for when the case could go to a grand jury.

In the case of Roy Oliver, who was sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of 15-year-old Jordan Edwards, Oliver was indicted on a murder charge two and a half months after the shooting.

“That’s as fast as you can possibly do it,” Dallas County first assistant district attorney Michael Snipes previously told The Dallas Morning News.

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