Joshua Brown, a key witness in the murder of a former Dahlia police officer who was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing a man in his own home, was himself shot outside his apartment complex this weekend.
Brown, 28, lived across the hall from Bottham Jean, a black 26-year-old accountant, and testified in the murder case against Amber Geiger, a white police officer who was out of service when she walked into Jean's apartment and shot him at death. On Tuesday, Geiger was convicted of murder and sentenced to 10 years in prison. The sentence was a rare indictment against a police officer in a high-profile shooting that sparked another national conversation about the role of police and self-defense. For some, Brown's death only added a few days to the plot of unwanted code.
Authorities say Friday that Dallas police were called to Brown's new apartment complex, about five miles from Jean's murder scene, at about 1
During the murder trial against Geiger, Brown, at times emotionally, testified about the moments when he heard gunfire when he approached his apartment and about Geiger's behavior immediately after she killed Gina on September 6, 2018. . Geiger said she believed the apartment was her own and that she perceived Gina as an intruder.
Brown said he saw Geiger coming into the hall from Jean's apartment, crying and talking on the phone. Attorney Lee Merritt, who represented Jean's family in the lawsuit, wrote on Facebook that Brown's testimony played a key role in challenging Giger's story about the incident, and she claims that she yelled at Boothham before firing at him.
"She did not. No one heard this. No neighbors. No passersby. Not Joshua when he was walking down the hall. No one," Merritt wrote.
Dallas police have not yet identified Brown as the victim of the shooting at Friday, but his mother confirmed his death through Merritt, officials have not yet identified a suspected or potential motive, and details of the autopsy have not yet been made public, and witnesses say the four-door sedan was spotted leaving the scene.
On social media, lawyer Merritt called for a response.
he serves the same justice he sought to secure Jean's family, "Merritt wrote." The Dallas County criminal justice system must [be] mobilize to identify his killer and see that he is responsible for the murder.
I just talked with my mother Joshua Browns. She is devastated. We all are. Joshua Brown was a key witness to the murder of Bottham Jin, which helped defer Amber Geiger. We need answers. pic.twitter.com/5BCdkVXoQ4
– S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 5, 2019
Dallas County Prosecutor Jason Hermus, the lead prosecutor in the Geiger case, said Saturday in Dallas that Brown's testimony was bold and important.
"He boldly spoke out to testify when others did not," said Hermus. "If we had more people like us, we would have a better world."
For some, it reflects " the reality of the black experience in America "
When Geiger was found guilty of murder, Jean and many activists praised what they saw as a moment of justice. Police arrest – far less conviction – is a rarity for shooting a person , and as Brittany Paknett pointed out for Vox, Giger's beliefs might not come true, but for the diverse
However, Attorney Merritt called the court's decision "a signal that the influx would change here; Police officers are responsible for their actions, and we believe it will change the culture of police around the world. "
With the news of Brown's death, in circumstances that are not obvious, some sense of justice has diminished. Brown's mom thinks her son
"She suspects foul play, and it's hard to rule out," Merritt wrote. "He had no known enemies. He worked for a living. He didn't have the streets. We need answers. Right away. "
On Twitter, the hashtag # Justice4JoshuaBrown started trending. Even among those who do not consider the connection between Brown's testimony and his death, it is believed that Brown's death was a darkening that was a victory for the proponents of due process in police-related shootings.
"Just when we realized Bethham Jin's justice, much of it feels stolen as a result of the murder of Joshua Brown," wrote a report by Alexandria Okasio-Cortes on Twitter . , much of it feels stolen after the murder of Joshua Brown, a key witness of the case.
My heart is broken for his family and for all who have been touched by this tragedy. We must get to this point of injustice. https: // t.co/2ik9EhvSeh records19459003 Photos— Alexandria O. asio-cortez (@AOC) October 6, 2019
Conversation on social networks also reflects the racial motive that played out during the lawsuit against Geiger, as Sean Collins reported by Vox, many viewed the case as a pointed, particularly tragic example of the adage about the danger of "driving in the dark" – or, in this case, as Attorney Merritt said, "to live while black."
But these issues were not considered by a jury whose decision instead depended on whether Geiger's claims of self-defense are true. When Dallas police begin investigating the death of another young black man so closely involved in the case, the conversation is likely to provoke outrage. No matter what, Merritt wrote on social media, Brown's death "underscores the reality of the black experience in America."
"Brown lived in constant fear that he might become the next victim of gun violence, or state-mandated, or otherwise," Merritt wrote. "We still have work to do to address the ongoing threats to our community, both internally and externally."