Jean, 26, was laid to rest at the Choc Cemetery in Castries, St. Lucia’s capital, following a moving three-hour funeral service at the 100-year-old Minor Basilica of the Immaculate Conception. His family passed out red carnations with his name and the words: “Sunrise 9/21/91 — Sunset 9/6/18.”
Many wore red and black to the service that was filled with tributes and songs for the loss of the country’s bright son and the former Price Waterhouse Cooper Dallas employee.
It came as Dallas Police Chief, U. Reneé Hall, announced the termination of Officer Amber R. Guyger from her job.
The Jean family had called for her firing after she was placed on administrative leave following her arrest in the killing of Jean, who lived above a Dallas apartment complex above hers.
Guyger has so far been charged with manslaughter and has stuck to the story that she mistakenly killed Jean after thinking she was entering her own apartment and he was an intruder.
Lee Merritt, the Jean’s family lawyer in Dallas, told reporters on Monday, adding that the family saw Guyger’s firing as a “victory.”
Botham Shem Jean – 9/21/91 – 9/6/18
At Jean’s service Monday, his father, Bertrum Jean, broke down sobbing as he recounted the last time he spoke to his son, two weeks before he died. “I can’t believe my boy is now dead,” Mr. Jean said through tears.
Jean’s parents said they last saw him alive in March, when his mother had surgery in New York.
His uncle, Ignacious Jean, told those gathered that he hoped his nephew’s killer would find “peace of conscience” and tell “the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.”
His words were met with raucous applause.
Other speakers at the funeral encouraged those in Dallas to keep marching and protesting as long as they remained peaceful and non-violent. West Dallas Church of Christ Minister, Sammie L. Berry, asked mourners to stand during his sermon and led them in chanting “Stand up for Botham. Stand Up for Botham,” as they raised their right fists in the air.
At the cemetery, as Jean’s coffin was lowered, and sand strewn on it, his father cried out: “Oh, son” as his mother Allison Jean cried, burying her face in her husband’s shoulder.
Guyger remains free on a $300,000 bond.
Botham Jean is survived by his parents; his sister Allisa Findley of Brooklyn, NY and his brothers Brandt Jean and Valdez Franklyn along with his grandparents and numerous aunts, uncles, cousins and nephews.