Candles lit the night sky on Tuesday evening, as tribute was paid to the memory of Botham Shem Jean at a vigil held on the La Clery playing field.
Approximately 1000 persons were in attendance to show their support for the Jean family merely days after Botham was fatally shot and killed in his Dallas apartment.
Friends shared their memories of Botham, their reminiscent stories were interspersed with prayers and songs. But the cries for ‘justice’ were what resonated most with those in attendance, encapsulated by a rendition of Bob Marley’s Get Up, Stand Up.
The racial undertones were palpable and boiled beneath the surface throughout the evening, as every St. Lucian challenge to the American justice system and to ‘white’ people in general, was greeted with applause and cheers; and it was clear that most of those in attendance believed that Botham died as a result of racial discrimination.
Immediately upon arrival, this reporter was greeted by #BlackLivesMatter placards and it became very apparent, throughout the proceedings, that the long-reaching influence of the movement has reached Saint Lucia’s shores.
The Tuesday evening vigil came off the back of a small protest march on Monday night in Dallas, where, as reported in the Washington Post, “dozens of protesters marched from the police department headquarters near downtown Dallas to the apartment building just a few blocks away, chanting…What’s his name? “Botham Jean!”