Austin, TX - It is time to create change in Texas and State Representative Carl Sherman (District 109) was poised to do just that when the 87th Texas Legislative Session began in January 2021.
Representative Sherman is inviting all local Austin and state-wide media to attend a press conference on Monday, March 29, 2021 at 10 a.m. at the Texas State Capitol in Austin. Representative Sherman will be bringing light to his proposed legislation to be introduced in April and named in honor of Botham Jean, which will be known as Bo’s Law Safe at Home.
Botham Jean was a Dallas resident who was killed in his own apartment by an off-duty police officer two years ago on September 6, 2018. This unnecessary tragedy made headline news around the nation. Today, Representative Sherman is determined this senseless death will not be forgotten.
Representative Sherman’s proposed legislation is meant to codify ambiguous guidelines and condemn the unnecessary use of excessive and deadly force by police against those they are sworn to serve. Areas that will be addressed in this law include the Castle Doctrine, codified by Texas in 2007, which permits the use of deadly force when a person is protecting their home.
Other areas to be addressed in Representative Sherman’s legislation is mistake of fact, body worn camera policies and use of such recording devices during an investigation, which were factors in the events immediately following the murder of Botham.
Bo’s Law is intended to do the following:
• Clarify that an individual can protect their “castle,” while preventing others to cite this doctrine in the case of a person maliciously and recklessly entering another’s home and killing that person in his/her own castle.
• Regarding mistake of fact, this bill will clean up the language and make it clear that the “mistake of fact” defense is for a mistake that negates the culpable mental state for the offense.
• Body worn camera policies and continuous recording is an area of key importance and will help to increase police accountability while also offering transparency to the community as well as provide protection for police.
• Currently there is no specific penalty for turning off a recording device during an investigation. Bo’s Law will further efforts to increase accountability by creating consequences for bad actors.
We look forward to having you join Representative Sherman’s groundbreaking press conference in Austin weeks before Bo’s Law is introduced on the House floor. Please contact Rita Cook at 818.219.0132 or Rita.Cook@house.texas.gov to discuss your attendance and needs at this press conference. It will be necessary for media to register by emailing Rita.Cook@house.texas.gov no later than Saturday, March 27, 2021.
*media please note you will need to enter through the north door of the Capitol where the tent is located in order to be COVID-19 tested prior to entering the building. Testing is taking about 15 minutes and either myself or someone from Representative Sherman’s office will meet you at the North entrance door once you have been tested and passed through security. We suggest arriving around 9 a.m. if possible.
Policy Advocacy Director
Office of State Representative Carl O. Sherman
103 N. Dallas Avenue
Lancaster, TX 75146
103 N. Dallas Avenue