DALLAS - A town hall meeting in Dallas was meant to celebrate the life of Botham Jean, the man shot and killed in his own apartment by a Dallas police officer. Instead, it spurred more frustration and unanswered questions.
The meeting on Saturday was filled with debate, discussion and, at times, defiant protests. It shifted from a discreet gathering to an unruly roundtable.
Some of the anger was directed toward Dallas District Attorney Faith Johnson and the fact that now-former Officer Amber Guyger is only charged with manslaughter for Jean’s death.
“They can start with one charge, but when we get ready to present it to the grand jury we're going to explain the loss to them and let them know what it is and what it's not," Johnson said to the crowd.
Protesters like Melissa Perry said that’s not good enough.
“No, I'm not satisfied until we get it sent to a grand jury and with a murder charge. And do it now before election day otherwise, vote her ass out of office," she said.
All of it played out on what would’ve been Jean’s 27th birthday.
Texas State Senator Royce West, along with the DA, attorneys, clergy and activists continued the lively discussion for two hours. Jean’s mother, Alyson Jean, joined in via phone from her hometown of St. Lucia.
"I also know he is satisfied that we are fighting on his behalf because that is what he stood for," she said.
In the end, there were still more questions than answers.
“The powers that be, the people who are responsible for the decision making, asked the questions directly-- I think they provided some necessary clarity, but they also got to see that their constituents are livid about not only this case but about the state of justice in Dallas County," said Lee Merritt, the Jean family’s attorney.
The crowd expressed some disappointment because no one from the Dallas Police Department attended the meeting. Chief Rene Hall had a family issue but they argued she should have sent someone in her absence.