Organization sees double-standard in treatment of peaceful protesters and shooter of unarmed African-American

UPDATE (09/18/2018 11:48 a.m.): All protesters have been released on $100 bond. 

See: Bail set for 9 arrested outside Cowboys game while protesting Botham Jean’s killing

(DALLAS, TEXAS, 9/18/2018) – The Dallas/Fort Worth chapter of the Council on American Islamic Relations (CAIR-DFW), the nation’s largest Muslim civil rights and advocacy organization, is calling on the Arlington Police Department to release nine individuals who were arrested Sunday for blocking traffic during a peaceful protest of Botham Jean’s killing by a Dallas police officer.

According to media reports, the nine are being charged with a Class B misdemeanor for obstruction of a highway. A Class B misdemeanor charge prohibits the police department from setting bond and releasing the protestors. Police could have charged the protesters with a Class C misdemeanor, which would have allowed them to be cited and released.

See: 9 arrested on traffic obstruction charges during protest of Botham Jean’s killing will stay in jail overnight

“Police officials say they had no other choice but to keep the protesters in jail, but when a police officer shoots and kills an unarmed African-American in his own home, they somehow find the ability to delay arresting the office and almost immediately release her on bail,” said John Janney, executive director of CAIR-DFW. “This is exactly the type of injustice that strains minorities’ relationships with law enforcement and makes our communities less safe.”

With no bond set, the protesters have already spent more time in jail than Jean’s alleged killer. Officer Guyer was released on bail within an hour or two of her arrest for manslaughter — a charge protesters want increased to murder.

Janney urges people to call the Tarrant County Jail at 817-884-3000 and demand they lower the charges to Class C misdemeanor and release the protesters:

  • Stephanie Briant
  • Darryl Burnham
  • Miracle Freeman
  • Arminta Jeffreys
  • Michael Lowe
  • Melissa Perry
  • Davante Peters
  • Lelani Russell
  • Dion William

CAIR is America’s largest Muslim civil liberties and advocacy organization. Its mission is to enhance understanding of Islam, protect civil rights, promote justice, and empower American Muslims.

La misión de CAIR es proteger las libertades civiles, mejorar la comprensión del Islam, promover la justicia, y empoderar a los musulmanes en los Estados Unidos.

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CONTACT: CAIR-DFW Executive Director John Janney, 469-998-2243, john.janney@cairdfw.org