Update: Botham Jean Celebrated Amid the Urging of Officer Guyger to Come Clean
Many called for justice. One speaker at the funeral said: Botham Shem Jean was not a silhouette.
Thousands gathered Thursday afternoon to celebrate the life of Botham "Bo" Shem Jean in the sanctuary of Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson. But undertones of hurt, and a demand of justice for Jean, were present.
Many spoke of Jean's character and faith, and the family's rearing of an "exemplary student, mentor and teacher," but among the prayers and remarks were calls for justice.
The service comes at the time when many are poking holes in the claims of Amber Guyger — the officer who killed Jean in his own apartment.
Shaun King tweeted a video that showed that the change in the story from the apartment door being closed and unlocked first, and then open, was impossible because all the apartment doors in the building were automatically shut.
"To hear that his door was open, he would never and have the lights off, he would never do that," said Allisa Jean, Botham's sister, in an interview shortly after his death.
"One of the things I would like is for Amber to come clean. Just surrender," said Allison Jean, Botham's mother.
Justice was, in part, preached from the pulpit during a eulogy delivered by Sammie Berry from Dallas West Church of Christ.
"That apartment complex, the state, the city, the police department, the community… should take action," Berry said to a standing ovation.
"If we need to take action, protests should be peaceful. I say that because that was Botham. He would do it peacefully."
Botham's uncle, a politician in St. Lucia, described the news of his death as a "nuke that has been unleashed by someone charged to protect", and described the officer as having a "quick to trigger finger."
A family friend, Dane Felicien, who spoke charged all to love and not overreact with deadly force.
"Botham Shem Jean was not a silhouette," he said.
A standing ovation followed.
Jean received his bachelor's degree in business administration, accounting, and management information systems from Harding University in Searcy, Ark., according to his LinkedIn page.
He started as an intern at PwC, later becoming an employee.
PwC U.S. Chairman and Senior Partner Tim Ryan was present at the funeral and talked about the effect Jean had on 55,000 people around the globe and that they would stand with the family while they search for accountability:
Ryan said that Jean has inspired people to change their actions to live like he did, and that he is now a "spark to help others care more, put aside their differences, understand each others experience."
He additionally said that Botham was a hero, and a model for empathy and understanding, not violence.
"We stand with you as you find answers to why he was taken from us," Ryan said.
Jean began working at PwC full-time right after the police shootings of Philando Castile and Alton Sterling in July 2016, and the company held talks about race.
The PwC Foundation has contributed toward the cost of Jean's memorial service and the company will make a $50,000 contribution to a scholarship fund that Jean's family established in the 26-year-old's honor.
Representatives from the city of Dallas, including Mayor Mike Rawlings, County Judge Clay Jenkins, police chief Renee Hall, state representatives and senators were present at Jean's funeral as well.
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The light sentence given to the officer who killed McDonald, "suggests to us that there are no laws on the books for a Black man that a white man is bound to honor," said his great-uncle.
Hours of testimony at Jason Van Dyke's sentencing on Friday ended in shock for one family, and relief and happiness for the other.
"Obviously we've had a second incident in several years," University of Oklahoma President James Gallogly said. "It shows that there must be something systemic. We have work to do."
U.S. Sen. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is working to stop wheelchairs from getting damaged during air travel.
U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is leading the charge for better airline management of customers' motorized wheelchairs. Duckworth has been confined to a wheelchair since her helicopter was shot down in Iraq and she lost both of her legs.
President Donald Trump signed legislation on Wednesday that said all furloughed workers would receive back pay once the government reopens. However, the Trump administration has ordered states not to provide unemployment coverage to federal workers who have been required to work without pay during the partial government shutdown.
California Governor Gavin Newsom said on Thursday the U.S. Department of Labor sent states a letter with that mandate, according to NPR. The Department of Labor said the roughly 420,000 federal employees who are "essential" cannot file for unemployment as they are "generally ineligible."
It also reported 10,454 initial claims by federal workers for the week that ended Jan. 5, doubling the previous week's figure. Thousands more have applied since, state officials said.
Newsom said the decision by the Department of Labor's decision was "jaw-dropping."
"So, the good news is, we're going to do it, and shame on them," he said.
"From a moral perspective, there is no debate on this issue and we will blow back aggressively on the Department of Labor."
The California Employment Development Department (EDD) reports unemployment claims for one week during the shutdown are up 600 percent from the same time last year. The state has over 245,000 federal employees.
Newsom encouraged people to continue to apply while the state figured out how to get the money. He estimated benefits that would last up to 26 weeks and provided a few hundred extra dollars a month. He said he knows it doesn't fix everything, but hopefully it helps.
His message to Trump: "Let us states do the job you can't seem to do yourself."
Some state officials said they had asked utilities and other companies to extend mercy to federal employees, and the federal Office of Personnel Management published sample letters that furloughed employees could send to creditors to ask for patience.
Texas has received more than 2,900 claims from federal workers since the shutdown began on Dec. 22, while Ohio is approaching 700. Kansas reported 445 filings, and Alabama was closing in on 500. Montana said it had logged almost 1,500.
Trump tweeted on Friday that he would be making a "major announcement" on Saturday about the government shutdown.
I will be making a major announcement concerning the Humanitarian Crisis on our Southern Border, and the Shutdown, tomorrow afternoon at 3 P.M., live from the @WhiteHouse.
— Donald J. Trump (@realDonaldTrump) January 18, 2019
A senior administration official told CNN that Trump plans to offer Democrats another proposal to end the shutdown.
Reader Question: How are people you know that are furloughed workers surviving?
The dance team's choreographer told Camille Sturdivant that her skin was "too dark" to perform because she "clashed" with uniforms.
Camille Sturdivant has filed a racial discrimination lawsuit against the Blue Valley School District for the abuse she was subjected to as a member of the high school dance team.
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A Black toddler was subjected to having her hair pulled and being pushed by the employee.