Joshua Brown was key to convicting Dallas police officer Amber Guyger of murder. On Friday night, he was found shot to death just 10 days after testifying for the defense, a lawyer representing Botham Jean’s family reportedly said.
Brown lived in the same apartment complex as Guyger and the unarmed Black man that she shot, Jean, and testified that he heard what happened between Guyger and Jean.
Brown was “shot several times by an unknown assailant” on Friday night, civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt said Saturday night on social media.
“His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America,” Merritt wrote on Instagram. “A former athlete turned entrepreneur — Brown lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state sanctioned or otherwise.”
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Joshua Brown, the next door neighbor of #BothamJean was killed last night after being shot several times by an unknown assailant. Local media has reported on the shooting but have not confirmed Brown’s identity. Because, Brown worked closely with prosecutors just a week ago to ensure Amber Guyger was properly convicted in the murder trial, the DA’s office has fairly direct contact with Brown and his family. An ADA has confirmed that it was in fact Brown who was killed although they have yet to identify a suspect or motive for the shooting. The case is now in the hands of the Dallas Police Department. Brown’s testimony stood out as a fact witness who was approaching his apartment directly across from Botham Jean’s apartment when shots rang out. Brown was still visibly shaken up from the incident when he took the stand to testify on behalf of the prosecution. His murder underscores the reality of the black experience in America. A former athlete turned entrepreneur— Brown lived in constant fear that he could be the next victim of gun violence, either state sanctioned or otherwise. We have more work to do deal with the constant threats to our community both from within and without. Brown deserves the same justice he sought to ensure the Jean family. The Dallas County criminal justice system must mobilized to identify his killer and see that he is held accountable for this murder.
According to Merritt, Brown was “ambushed” while he was leaving his apartment and shot at close range. Nothing was stolen.
“Several witnesses heard several gunshots and observed a silver four-door sedan leaving the parking lot at a high rate of speed,” police said. There are still no suspects.
In the trial against Guyger, Brown testified that he did not hear loud police commands from Guyger to Jean that she swears she said. Brown lived right across the hall from the victim.
“Amber claimed she shouted commands to Botham before shooting him,” Merritt wrote on Facebook. “She didn’t. No one heard that. No neighbors. No passerby’s. Not Joshua as he walked down the corridor. No one.”
Friends, family and lawyers involved in Guyger’s trial have come forward over the weekend to talk about Brown. Friends told the Tampa Bay Times that he was funny and outspoken.
“He bravely came forward to testify when others wouldn’t,” Jason Hermus, the lead prosecutor in the Guyger trial, told the Dallas Morning News. “If we had more people like him, we would have a better world.”