DALLAS - A Dallas police officer said he’s seeing increased hostility from Dallas citizens in the wake of the shooting death of Botham Jean by an off-duty DPD officer.
Sr. Cpl. Larry Bankston has been with DPD for 15 years and said the fallout from Amber Guyger’s actions is affecting how people feel about police officers. He said he’s had two people confront him in the past week – one a white man and another a black woman.
“He was like, ‘I don’t like police.’ Once again, I was like, 'Man you don’t even know me.' And he was like, ‘It doesn't matter, you know. I don’t like police,’” Bankston said.
Both people live in his own Cedars-area apartment building.
“And I was like, 'Ma'am you don’t even know me. and then she said, ‘I don’t have to know you, it’s a cover-up.’ And I’m like, 'I don’t know what happened. I’m upset as well,'” Bankston said. “She said ‘It doesn't matter. You guys are all in it together.’”
In 2016, Bankston brought social media attention to Steven Hall, who jumped into a swimming pool to save a drowning girl. Bankston’s post shared hundreds of thousands of times. It’s different from the social media posts being shared since Jean’s killing.
“I feel like it’s unfair to look at every officer like they’re not an individual, like they’re the same because we forget at one point in our history we were fighting and protesting for me to be in the uniform,” said Bankston, who is black. “Without that fight and that protest I wouldn't be representing the communities that are angry right now.”
Jean was shot dead by Guyger on Sept. 6 in his own apartment. It’s still unclear the sequence of events that led to his death, but Guyger claims she mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment believing it was her own.
Bankston said he wants both sides to come together.
“I can’t, we can’t control the actions of anyone, but we can control ourselves,” Bankston said. “I just hope the command staff feels like my heart is in the right place. You know, I’m not trying to make waves I’m just trying to make it better for everyone because maybe they feel like they can’t say what I can.”
The investigation into Jean’s killing is still ongoing. Guyger remains on paid administrative leave from the department.