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Texas House of Representatives passes Botham Jean Act

The Texas House voted 108-34 in favor of the Botham Jean Act.

Botham Jean protest RIN CLARK/THE BOSTON GLOBE VIA GETTY IMAGES

A bill honoring Botham Jean, the Black man who was killed by an off-duty cop who thought she entered her own home, has been passed by the Texas House of Representatives.

As The Hill reported, the Texas House voted 108-34 in favor of the Botham Jean Act aka Bo’s Law. Designed to tackle “systemic accountability” in policing, the legislation requires the activation of body cameras throughout the entirety of active investigations that police are involved with.

“I am thankful that we are continuing to work from a place of bi-partisanship and that we have found a common ground to move Bo’s Law into law in the state of Texas,” said Texas Rep. Carl O. Sherman, who sponsored the bill.

“I also want to thank House Speaker Dade Phelan for his support. In keeping with the spirit of the young man who HB929 was named after, ‘Let the spirit of Botham Jean continue to rise among us.’”

The bill number 929 was named after Jean’s Sept. 29 birthday, per a request from his mother.

In 2018, Jean was eating ice cream in his apartment when former officer Amber Guyger opened the door and rang fire. She fatally shot the late man assuming she was confronting a burglar. She later noticed she was on the wrong floor of the building.

Guyger was indicted on murder charges but has long been asking the court to lessen her charge and its accompanying 10-year sentence. Just last month, her attorneys pleaded with the judge to toss out her murder conviction. As she insists she was acting in self-defense, she is requesting that she is instead charged with manslaughter.

Per The Dallas Morning News, Bo’s law will now go to the state Senate. If approved, it will then make its way to Texas Governor Greg Abbott.

“This is not about police versus protesters or citizens. This is really just about trying to make sure that we create an environment for good officers,” Sherman said of the bill. “Good officers want us to do this. They want us to stop allowing shields for bad officers to remain.”

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