Proposal to rename Lamar Street in honor of Botham Jean put on hold

The effort to rename part of Lamar Street after Botham Jean has been put on hold for at least two weeks.

Jean was shot and killed in his own apartment by an off-duty officer, Amber Guyger. She said she thought she was in her apartment and that he was an intruder.

Guyger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison.

Renaming Lamar St., south of I-30 to South Central expressway, was the item before the City plan Commission Thursday.

That stretch includes Dallas Police Headquarters and South Side on Lamar the apartments where Jean lived.

Leaders pressed pause when the meeting turned from Jean to the man Lamar Street honors now.

“I plead to you on behalf of my son, Botham, to rename Lamar Street, the street on which he lived and the street on which he died, Botham Jean Boulevard,” Jean’s mother, Allison Jean, said.

She’s among the voices asking for the name change, but not all of them are doing it for the same reason.

“Mirabeau Lamar was a butcher who hunted my people and other tribes down to near extinction. He was also responsible for our location to many areas of the country. In no way does he deserve the honor of having anything named after him,” said Leroy Strong Cloud.

Native American Leroy Strong Cloud and others condemned Lamar for violence against Native Americans as president of the Republic of Texas in the 1830s.

“If the cause for concern are mainly related to the history that Lamar has in this city, in conjunction to the injustice that was done two years ago, we need to look at it from a broader standpoint versus a short term stand point and that’s my reason for holding it,” commission chairman Timothy Jackson said.

Jackson moved to hold the vote to find out why the request was not to change the name on all of Lamar St.

Ronald Stinson disagreed.

"The portion that’s being named is probably four or five times longer than the small stretch you're concerned with in Downtown Dallas,” the commission member said.

“I am troubled with the symbolism that the only appropriate stretch of the street that is suitable for this name change is the portion that's south of I-30,” commission member Deborah Carpenter said. “In a city that has used I-30 as a dividing line for too long, so that’s my reason I would much prefer that the city, look if you're going to honor this person, honor them with a complete street name and really address the history, the underlying history.”

“The petition to rename South Lamar Street to Botham Jean Boulevard is a small but meaningful gesture in honor of someone who loved Dallas yet was taken in the most brutal way imaginable,” said Jonathan Morrison, the senior minister of Cedar Crest Church of Christ.

Several city leaders also support the idea. Council members Adam Medrano, Omar Narvaez and Adam Bazaldua signed a memorandum sent to the city manager’s office to officially request the change.

“Renaming the street in honor of Botham Jean would show the citizens of Dallas that his death was not in vain and show the world that his life mattered,” the document states.

Councilman Casey Thomas was not able to sign the memorandum but said he also supports the change.

A group of pastors are planning a Be Like Bo Day of Service on Sunday, which is the second anniversary of Jean’s death.