Friday 16 November, 2018

SLP: The Call For Justice For Botham Jean Must Not Subside

The Office of the Leader of the Parliamentary Opposition adds its voice to the call for fairness and a just outcome in the case of the unprovoked shooting death of Saint Lucian Botham Shem Jean on September 6th in Dallas, Texas. The known facts of the case are frightening and point to the need for professionalism by all groups responsible for upholding the law and for ensuring that the justice system in Dallas, Texas is seen to serve everyone without partiality.

Every life which is cut short before its time is tragic. When a promising life such as that of Botham Shem Jean is taken for no known or plausible cause in such sinister circumstances, the loss to family and community is exponentially greater. This tragedy involving a uniformed police officer and a model citizen impacts the psyche of the community and undermines the fabric of social relations in a manner that takes decades to repair.

In a twist of ironies, it can be said that the tragedy of Botham Jean’s untimely death presents the US Police with an opportunity to lead the charge in closing the persisting chasm of trust and confidence between law enforcement and people of colour in this land of immigrants.

As a Saint Lucian institution, the Parliamentary Opposition remains particularly grateful for the support and groundswell of love that has been meted out to the Jean family in Saint Lucia, and at their “ground zero”. We have noted the rallying support –emotional, spiritual and material extended by the Dallas West Church of Christ and by the Potters House organisation and its leaders Bishop T.D. Jakes and First Lady Syreeta Jakes.

A month on, as we continue to stand in solidarity with the Jean family, it is hoped that justice will be swift. It is also our hope that the civil society groups in Saint Lucia and North America that have taken up the cause, will keep the up the call for justice for Botham Jean, lest it be mistakenly construed that we are content to relegate Botham Jean’s death to another list of statistics.