As the investigation continues into the mysterious slaying of Joshua Brown, a key witness in the trial of the ex Dallas cop found guilty of murdering Botham Jean inside his Dallas home, the Jean family’s attorney says Brown had been set to testify for the family in their suit against the police department.
The attorney for Botham Jean’s family is also the attorney for Brown and says he should have been protected after he testified at [ex Dallas cop Amber] Guyger’s murder trial. The Jean family has filed a civil case against the city of Dallas for the murder of their son Botham. [Attorney Lee] Merritt says Brown would have been one of their first witnesses.
“To have a key witness, suddenly be killed is suspicious. Was this related to the trial? There is no clear indication,” Merritt told CBS News’ Omar Villafranca.
Brown was a 28-year-old Airbnb manager and father of three young children, a 6-year-old and two toddlers, NPR reports. He had lived on the same floor as Jean at the apartment complex where Jean was killed.
During trial, Brown testified that just before the shooting, he heard what sounded like two people who seemed “surprised” to meet one another, according to NPR. Then, there was the sound of gunfire. He said he never heard Guyger tell Jean to put his hands up, as she’d said.
Brown, who teared up at times during his testimony, had feared for his safety following the trial, attorney Merritt told the Today show, according to NPR.
“Josh Brown expressed concerns about the exposure he would get from this trial and expressed concerns for his safety,” Merritt said.
Both Merritt and the NAACP Legal Defense Fund are calling for an outside investigative agency to find out who is responsible for Brown’s death.
“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,” Sherrilyn Ifill, the LDF’s president and director-counsel, told NPR.
Brown was killed Friday night in the parking lot of a different apartment complex from the one where Jean’s murder took place. As CBS News explains:
Witnesses described hearing several gunshots Friday night, and seeing a silver four-door sedan speeding away from the parking lot.
Brown’s father, Harold Brown, told NPR, that at the time of his death, his son was working toward “moving on with his life.”
So far, Dallas police say they have no suspects in the killing.
“I just hope they figure it out,” Harold Brown said.