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'The God that we serve is still on the throne' | How Dallas is reacting to the Amber Guyger verdict

Former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murdering Botham Jean on Tuesday.

DALLAS — The jury found Amber Guyger guilty of murder on Tuesday in the shooting death of her neighbor Botham Jean on Sept. 6, 2018.

The jury reached the verdict late in the morning, a day after closing arguments were delivered by both the state and defense. 

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After the verdict was read, both Jean's parents and Guyger were left in tears. 

RELATED: Botham Jean's life honored on what would have been his 28th birthday

Botham Jean's mother, Allison Jean, posted a message on Facebook shortly afterward.  

"Yes Lord! You never failed me yet! #JusticeforBotham," she wrote. 

"This verdict is exactly what we were looking for," Botham Jean's pastor told a crowd following the verdict. "This also lets us know that the God that we serve is still on the throne, God is still in control."  

RELATED: Local activists ask for 'peaceful' and 'dignified' protests as jury deliberates in Amber Guyger murder trial

Botham Jean's attorneys announced that the jury in the trial had made history to a crowd following the verdict.

Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys for Botham Jean's family, spoke to the media following the verdict at the court house.

He said Jean's family wanted to thank the community and the people of Dallas County, along with the jury. 

"We still have the sentencing phase to go, but this is a huge victory, not only for the family of Botham Jean, but as his mother Allison told me a moment ago, this is a victory for black people in America," Merritt said. "It's a signal that the tide is going to change here. Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions and we believe that will begin to change policing culture all over the world." 

Ben Crump, a widely known civil rights, personal injury, and civil attorney that represents the family of Botham Jean, issued this statement to the media: 

"Nothing will bring Botham back, but today his family has found some measure of justice. What happened on September 6, 2018, is clear to everyone: This officer saw a black man and shot, without reason and without justification. The jury’s thoughtful verdict sets a powerful precedent for future cases, telling law enforcement officers that they cannot hide behind the badge but instead will face justice for their wrongful actions.”

RELATED: Who is Amber Guyger? Ex-cop accused of murder in death of Botham Jean

The City of Dallas issued a statement later Tuesday afternoon regarding the verdict: 

The City of Dallas is aware of the conviction of former Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger. Given the current gag order in this trial and the pending sentencing, there will be no official statement from the City and its leadership at this time. 

RELATED: Amber Guyger testifies at murder trial: 'I hate that I have to live with this every single day'

Dominique Alexander, a Dallas activist, spoke to a crowd of reporters gathered after the verdict as well. Watch him speak here. 

"As a community leader who has been fighting continuously towards police corruption in Dallas, I know I speak for our community who has labored, who has sat incarcerated, who has marched the streets, who has sacrificed so much for this movement, to the Dallas Nine, to all of the people who are here, I want to say thank you," he said. "Because of your sacrifice, this family is able to see some form of justice in Dallas, Texas, where many people at large in the community felt like it was hopeless."

Alexander also emphasized that Guyger wasn't the only one on trial during the case.  

"Amber Guyger wasn't the only thing that stood trial, it was the Dallas Police Department," he said. "We saw corruption loud and clear, we saw the failures of the police department, we saw the failures of lack of policies, lack of accountability to the highest level."     

The Dallas NAACP also issued a statement in response to the verdict:  

"On September 6th, 2018, Botham Jean was callously murdered inside of his Dallas apartment. A recent college graduate and leader in his church, Jean was the kind of young man that would make any parent proud, and every peer value his friendship. Although Jean won’t be able to pursue his dreams and continue his community work, we pray that his family will find consolation in today’s verdict. Jean's life mattered, and for his sake, we must recommit ourselves to the fight for equality and various forms of discrimination and injustice.” 

The Dallas NAACP also said it would hold a brief news conference ahead of its local general membership meeting Tuesday at 6:30 p.m. 

Mothers Against Police Brutality shared a news release on the verdict with WFAA, which said the group hoped the ruling would send a message going forward. 

"The jury in this case, perhaps the most diverse juries ever seated in Dallas County, has made a strong statement to police officers who kill -- you will be held accountable," Collette Flanagan, the founder of Mothers Against Police Brutality. said in the release. “Nothing can return Botham Jean to his family, to his mother, and our hearts go out to her, but this verdict can be a signal for changing policing in Dallas. We urge Chief Hall and DA Creuzot to affirm that message going forward.”

Community activist John Fullinwider, a co-founder of MAPB, was also quoted in the release.

“It’s been a long time coming,” he said. “We have been saying for years, have a trial when a cop kills a resident. This is the first trial of a Dallas officer in a fatal police shooting 46 years. Not only did the jury find the officer guilty, but the trial also revealed that officers do in fact destroy evidence (i.e., the Guyger-Rivera texts) and that the Dallas Police Association does in fact interfere with the investigation process (i.e., Mike Mata's videotaped actions the night of the shooting)."

Judge Clay Jenkins, a Dallas County judge, issued a statement on Twitter Tuesday as well.

"In light of today's verdict, it is important to remember that no single court decision can remedy all that ails our society. True justice and equality come over time as the result of deliberate, systemic changes to ensure the right to 'life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.'" 

Texas Sen. Royce West, D-Dallas, also issued a statement in a news release Tuesday afternoon after the jury found Guyger guilty of murder.

“First and foremost, I want to send my prayers to the Jean family, and commend them on their strength and dignity during this unspeakably horrific tragedy. What the Jean family has been put through occurs all too frequently to African American families across our country,” West said in the release. 

“Amber Guyger was found guilty by a jury of her peers for the shooting death of Botham Jean. Today’s verdict was evidence that our judicial system seeks justice for all.

“The conviction proves that juries in Dallas County will hold police officers accountable for misconduct and excessive force. I urge the Dallas Police Department, and police departments across the country, to reexamine the use of deadly force, and foster an environment that prioritizes deescalation tactics.

“Again though, this case was about a young man, a family lost their son. We all mourn with the Jean family and stand strong as a community who will not allow our neighbors to be prematurely taken away from us.”

PwC, the company where Botham Jean worked as a risk assurance associate, shared this statement from Tim Ryan, U.S. chair and senior partner at PwC. 

"Bo’s death was a heartbreak for all of us at PwC. I’m asking you to remember the tremendous person we lost at the center of this, our beloved friend and colleague Bo. He is dearly missed, but we can make sure his impact lives on by being kind and generous to everyone around us."

Jean's alma mater, Harding University, also released a statement to the media Tuesday from the university's president, Dr. Bruce McLarty. 

"The Harding University community continues to grieve deeply the death of Botham Jean. He brightened our campus while he was here as a student, and we have been so proud of the difference he was making in the world as an alumnus. In the aftermath of his tragic death, the entire world has learned what a special person he was. We will continue to walk with his family through their grief and to stand beside them during their pursuit of justice."

The university's business school recently partnered with PwC to create the Botham Jean Business Scholarship to honor his memory. The scholarship will support historically under-represented populations as they pursue their degrees at the Harding University College of Business. The first four students to receive the award were announced at the beginning of September. 

Texas Democratic Party Chair Gilberto Hinojosa and Vice Chair Dr. Carla Brailey released a statement as well, offering the party's condolences to the Jean family:

“Botham Jean should be alive today. 

Convicting Amber Guyger of murder is a step towards justice for Botham Jean and his family. There is never anything that can heal the wound of a life lost too soon but justice is a step in the right direction.

On behalf of the Texas Democratic Party, we want to offer our sincerest condolences to the family of Botham Jean -- his mother Allison, his father Bertram, his sister Alissa, and his brother Brandt. We keep them in our thoughts. Today’s verdict will hopefully give them the closure that they’re owed after this terrible, senseless tragedy.

Racism is all too prevalent in America and it must be defeated. Texas Democrats long for the day when we are not surprised by justice. Texans deserve a criminal justice system that is fair and treats people equally under the law. Today is a step forward.”