Republished with permission.
Editor’s note: On Sept. 6, Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger entered the apartment of Botham Jean. Guyger maintains she mistakenly thought she was in her apartment and believed Jean was an intruder. Guyger shot and killed him.
News of the shooting has prompted protests against what many consider an instance of police violence against a minority. Some protesters also have questioned whether the police are being transparent enough with the public about the case. It’s unclear how Guyger got into the apartment, and the accounts differ between the Dallas Police Department and Texas Rangers records.
The following letter was signed by a diverse group of Christian faith leaders in North Texas, including a handful of Baptist faith leaders.
As leaders of Jesus’ church, we are committed to speaking the truth in love, doing justice, loving kindness and walking humbly before our Lord. We speak as clergy of one blood, one faith, with one Father seeking the welfare of our city as servants of Christ in the city of Dallas.
Whether one’s skin is white, black or brown and whether the uniform is blue or that of a civilian, there should be no difference in treatment in a just society or in its courts of law. True justice is impartial to race, wealth, status or social position.
In our city’s current tragedy, we believe that Officer Amber Guyger’s blue uniform should grant her no advantage in the current investigation nor upcoming prosecution. We are committed to stand together, as spiritual leaders in our city, against any who threaten justice and thereby threaten our peace.
We grieve for all involved in this unfortunate situation and believe that a commitment to truth and a fair, consistent application of the law are best for our city, the family of Botham Shem Jean and Officer Guyger.
Past injustices are not remedied by further injustices, but they do explain the strong reaction amongst some of our fellow citizens. For this reason, we stand together in our call for the acknowledgment of any undeserved privileges already unjustly granted to Officer Guyger by virtue of her uniform. We demand full transparency, consistency, and integrity in the days ahead as the judicial process progresses.
May God bless our city’s leaders, justice system and citizens as we seek justice together.
Jeff Warren, Park Cities Baptist Church
Todd Wagner, Watermark Church
Bryan Dunagan, Highland Park Presbyterian
Matt Chandler, The Village Church
Andy Stoker, First United Methodist Church of Dallas
George Mason, Wilshire Baptist Church
Mark Davis, Park Cities Presbyterian
Gary Brandenburg, Fellowship Dallas (at large)
Albert Reyes, Buckner Benevolences
Larry James, City Square Ministries
Grant Skeldon, Initiative
Michael Bowie, St. Luke United Methodist
Richie Butler, St. Paul United Methodist
T.D. Jakes, Potter’s House
Gerald Britt, City Square Ministries
Bryan Carter, Concord Church
Vincent Parker, Golden Gate Baptist Church
Will McCall, Dallas Leadership Foundation
Rickie Rush, Inspiring Body of Christ