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Activists demand the release of the peaceful ‘Dallas 9’ protesters held without bond [updated]
The protesters have been in jail longer than the officer whose violence they were protesting.
The deaths of Jean and Terry have caused outrage against police brutality over the past weeks. On Sunday, about 100 peaceful protesters held a procession, with two coffins representing the two men, ending at the entrance to the AT&T Stadium, where the Dallas Cowboys were playing against the New York Giants. Besides being highly visible, the location was chosen to send a message to the owner of the Cowboys, Jerry Jones, who has been a loud opponent of NFL players kneeling in protest against racial injustice.
After a eulogy was delivered for Jean and Terry, nine of the protesters went off on their own to conduct a separate protest. The group obstructed traffic going into the game in an act of civil disobedience, and all peacefully submitted to arrest when police officers arrived. Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing the families of both Jean and Terry, said in a statement that officers had a choice to charge them with a Class A misdemeanor, which would only result in a citation, but instead charged them with a Class B so they have to be held in jail and go before a judge.
All of the Dallas 9 were booked into Arlington City Jail on Sunday and held overnight. The Daily Dot confirmed with the Tarrant County Sheriff’s Department that the nine protesters have since been transferred to the Tarrant County Correction Center, and are still being held without bond.
Merritt noted in his statement the contrast between the treatment of the Dallas 9 and officer Amber Guyger, who is charged with manslaughter in the shooting of Jean and is currently out on bail. “The officer who shot and killed Botham Jean remains on the Dallas police force and was able to bond out on manslaughter charges in a fraction of the time the protestors have spent in jail,” he wrote. “No bond has been set for these protesters as of yet but attorneys are prepared to make bond for each of these individuals at a moments notice but for the obstruction by the policing apparatus.”
H/T the Root
Update 3:20pm CT, Sept. 18: A representative for the Merritt Law Firm notified the Daily Dot that all of the Dallas 9 were released on bail shortly before noon today. In total, they spent two nights in jail compared to Guyger’s one hour.
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently working out of St. Paul, Minnesota. They have bylines at The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, and Bullet Points. Follow them on Twitter @thedialogtree