x
Breaking News
More () »

Gov. Abbott signs Botham Jean Act into law

The law will now make it an offense for police to turn off body cameras during investigations, among other moves for transparency.

DALLAS — Gov. Greg Abbott just signed HB 929, also known as The Botham Jean Act or "Bo's Law," into law Wednesday night. It will be effective starting Sept. 1. 

The law will now make it an offense for police to turn off body cameras during investigations, among other moves for transparency.

State Rep. Carl O. Sherman tweeted the law was signed Wednesday night.

"Today, I am proud to announce that the governor signed HB 929, The Botham Jean Act "Bo's Law" into law. Bo’s Law is intended to create systemic accountability in policing," he wrote.

RELATED: North Texas lawmaker applauds bipartisan support of 'Bo's Law'

An earlier version of the initial bill of Bo's Law would have clarified the state’s castle doctrine and eliminate loopholes used for some defenses. The final version of the law only clarifies procedures for body cameras and bodycam footage.

"A policy described by Subsection (a) must require a peace officer who is equipped with a body worn camera and actively participating in an investigation to keep the camera activated for the entirety of the officer's active participation in the investigation unless the camera has been deactivated in compliance with that policy," the law's text states.

In September 2018, Jean, who was 26 years old at the time, was shot and killed by Amber Guyger in his own apartment. Guyger was an off-duty Dallas police officer who said she entered Jean’s apartment believing it was her own.

A year later, Guyger was sentenced to 10 years in prison for his murder.

Since Botham Jean's death, the North Texas community has done several things to commemorate his life and legacy. 

In March 2021, Jean's loved ones, civil rights leaders, and clergy honored him at the special ceremony and sign unveiling in front of the Canvas Hotel, at 1325 S. Lamar Street. Part of Lamar Street was renamed.

Mayor Eric Johnson also proclaimed March 27, 2021, as Botham Shem Jean Day.

And in September 2020, Jean’s family asked the community to "Be Like Bo" and do something for someone else, in honor of what would've been Botham's 29th birthday.