The NAACP Legal Defense and Educational Fund, Inc., has called for an independent investigation of the fatal shooting of Joshua Brown, who testified against former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger. A jury convicted Guyger guilty in the 2018 murder of Botham Jean.
“The circumstances surrounding the murder of Mr. Brown cries out for answers. Most importantly, it demands an independent investigation of how and why he was killed,” said Sherrilyn Ifill, LDF’s president and director-counsel, said in a statement Sunday.
“We urge state or federal authorities to follow the trail of misconduct left by this case and fully investigate the circumstances surrounding Mr. Brown’s death. It is critical to public confidence in the administration of justice that witnesses who speak out against police violence are fully protected,” Ifill noted. “The suspicious circumstances of Mr. Brown’s killing should cause great alarm and demand an immediate and piercing inquiry. We echo Allison Jean’s statement that the ‘corruption we saw during this process must stop,’ and support her request for a comprehensive federal investigation of the Dallas Police Department.”
Brown, 28, was gunned down last Friday at an apartment complex, WFAA reported, just three days after Guyger’s conviction. Dallas police said in a statement that Brown was shot multiple times in the lower body. Dallas County Judge Clay Jenkins also clarified on Twitter that Brown was not shot in the “mouth or head”. He also promised that city and county officials would “work to ensure a transparent and thorough investigation of the murder of Joshua Brown.”
“We are committed to solving this case and will work diligently to apprehend the individuals responsible for Brown’s death,” Dallas Police Chief U. Renée Hall said in a statement late Sunday afternoon.
No “suspects or motives” have been established for Brown’s killing.
In an interview with ABC News on Monday, Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Jean family, called Brown’s shooting an assassination.
“I don’t think it was a random act of violence. Whoever wanted to kill Joshua Brown met him in his home, met him in the parking lot, without a dispute or argument, shot him several times and then fled the scene. That is an assassination in my book,” Merritt said.
“Whether or not it was related to this trial, I know from speaking with Mr. Brown’s family, that he had a great deal of apprehension about testifying at this trial, about the amount of exposure that it created.