DALLAS — Many people across Dallas were responding to a grand jury’s decision to issue a murder indictment against Amber Guyger.
The former Dallas Police officer shot and killed Botham Shem Jean inside his apartment at the South Side Flats on September 6, 2018. Guyger’s attorneys say the shooting was an accident.
“Yeah, we were nervous,” Mallory York said as he cut a client’s hair at the Shaving Bar on Lamar. The salon sits below the complex where Jean was shot.
“We just didn’t know what to expect,” York explained as he described the concern among staff, clients, and community members. They began breathing a sign of relief, on Friday, after the District Attorney announced the grand jury’s decision to indict Guyger on a murder charge.
“Him being a client here, you know, it was a big concern of ours," York said.
Several community members and activist groups began describing the grand jury’s decision as one step closer to justice. Some activists were initially planning protests to disrupt the city, had the grand jury decided to no-bill Guyger.
"I want the officers in the Dallas Police Department to take notice of what happened today. You better think twice before you pull that trigger…because if you don’t we’re coming after you," Rev. Dr. Jeff Hood said.
Activists are calling the murder charge against Guyger a small victory, while sending a strong message to city leaders. "The work is not done,” Next Generation Action Network Founder Dominique Alexander said. “Now that we have gotten the grand jury, Dallas Police Department has a lot of answers to make.
Back in Jean’s barbershop, the staff remembered the young man’s smile. They are urging community members to be patient, yet vigilant, as the case continues to play out.