Special to The Dallas Examiner
AUSTIN – Known as Bo’s Law, House Bill 929, a police reform bill authored by Rep. Carl O. Sherman, was signed by Gov. Abbott June 16 as the Botham Jean Act, Bo’s Law. The bill had passed the House and Senate floor weeks ago before the end of the 87th Legislative Session.
Sherman represents the District 109, which includes DeSoto, Cedar Hill, Glenn Heights, Hutchins, Lancaster, Wilmer, as well as parts of Ovilla, Ferris, Seagoville and Dallas.
He worked countless hours with multiple organizations, individuals and agencies with a single focus of establishing systemic accountability in policing that would find bipartisan support.
“It is another bittersweet moment, but I’m elated with the law being signed and thank Representative Carl Sherman and team,” said Allison Jean, Botham Jean’s mother.
The bill was also joint authored by Sherman’s colleagues on both sides of the aisle; including Republican Reps. Matt Krause and Jacey Jetton and Democratic Reps. Eddie Rodriguez and Ron Reynolds.
It passed out of the Texas House with a total vote of 108-34 May 14 and passed the Senate unanimously May 24, according to the Texas Legislature Online, and was sent to the governor’s desk to await his signature.
“The moment the Botham Jean Act was passed unanimously in the Senate sending Bo’s Law directly to the governor’s desk was a moment of overwhelming elation,” Sherman said the following morning. “After working tirelessly with multiple organizations, individuals and agencies with a single focus of establishing systemic accountability in policing, it was exhilarating to say the least to report the passage to the Jean family. The Senate’s actions served as a strong reminder of Botham’s authentic inclination of invoking the Spirit of the Lord to rise among us – even in the Capitol. I am convinced that the passage of Bo’s Law is the embodiment of Botham’s transcendent spirit of truth and transparency, which has played out every step of the legislative process, up to this point.”
The bill saw a strong show of solidarity between both parties. Sherman said from the beginning it was designed to enhance transparency and accountability in the policing profession.
Allison Jean commented from her home in St. Lucia.
“The news of the passage of the Botham Jean Act, Bo’s Law, by the Senate on Monday, May 24, 2021, came with much elation by my family,” she stated enthusiastically. “We deem this a tremendous step in seeking to correct some of the systemic issues that plague our society and cause corrupt police officers to walk away scotch-free after committing heinous acts on innocent people.”
She said that though the original contents of the bill were drastically removed, it is still expected that, as time progresses, Texas law makers will see merit in strengthening the law to ensure that law enforcement carry out their duty with honesty, dignity and maintain their sworn oath to protect and serve.
After siting on his desk for a month, Abbott signed the bill into law.
“The signing of the Botham Jean Act into law effectively means that the state of Texas has moved forward in establishing a clear order of accountability in policing,” Sherman said Wednesday night after the governor signed Bo’s Law.
He went on to say that the support and signing of such a key piece of legislation by both the House and the Senate showed that “we are one step closer to a safer community for all.”
“This law affectionately known forever as Bo’s Law will help to remove bad officers from Texas streets,” he concluded. “Bo’s Law is good for good officers and good for good citizens regardless of color.”
The bill will take effect Sept. 1.