Plano, TX - Reactions to the jury sentencing former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger to 10 years for the murder of her neighbor were varied, but few made less sense than a Plano moving company’s decision not to serve police officers anymore.
Shedrell “Sed” Ellis, owner of a Plano moving business called On The Move, shared his disgust with the verdict on his company’s official Facebook page.
“After learning about the recent decision made by our justice system, On The Move will no longer serve any and all law enforcement officials excluding the military,” Ellis posted. “The complete disregard and lack value placed on our lives by the people who swore to protect us is unacceptable. To our past clients, I hope you understand. We will continue to uphold this policy until changes are made.”
He signed the missive, “Sincerely disappointed, Sed Ellis –Owner.”
On The Move was quickly slammed with almost 4,000 comments on the post that pointed out that the jury, not police, had determined former Officer Guyger’s sentence.
“Who you gonna call? Ghostbusters?” Angela Lowery asked. “I pray to God you never need the police. The beautiful thing is that regardless of your anti police rhetoric, they will always show up to help you.”
More than one person questioned whether Ellis had missed a lot of classes in high school.
“Wow, I'm going to go out on a limb and guess you didn't do too well in high school!” Chris Mensinger wrote. “Most high schoolers are aware the ‘police’ do not pass sentence or impose punishment, but hey you keep going with that cupcake! I would rather take my business to a company that shows some basic common sense!”
Blue Lives Matter reached out to Ellis to find out why he was punishing police for a decision made by the jury.
"I won't give an interview for blue lives matter. Please exit," he replied to our message sent via his business Facebook page. "I can choose to protest however I want? [Kaepernick] chose to kneel and it had nothing to do with the military."
Blue Lives Matter asked Ellis if he would be willing to serve the jurors who had determined Guyger's sentence and the mover admitted that he'd gone after police to get attention even if it didn't make sense.
"If I said I wont work with jurors, lawyers, or the judges, no one would care... I had to make a statement and make sure it was felt," Ellis explained. "Like how [Kaepernick] took a knee, he wasn't protesting the military he was protesting social injustices in a way he knew would bring awareness. I never blamed the police."
Despite Ellis' assertion that he had the right to protest in the manner of his choosing, literally hundreds of posters posited that On The Move would be out of business before too long.
“I hope they post something on Facebook about their upcoming liquidation sale after they file bankruptcy because of all the customers they lose,” Jason Spradlin posted. “Never mix business with your personal feelings. Your a moving company nobody gives a damn what you think there are plenty of better moving companies to choose from.”
And many of them recommended other moving companies, including some owned by law enforcement officers.
“Worst business decision ever,” Chelsea Brantley wrote. “Hope your personal beliefs can pay your bills and a good attorney. You’ll need one for the inevitable discrimination lawsuit.”
“I feel sorry for your employees/labor that will be affected by your ignorance,” Brantley continued. “I’m sure my friends at Ellis County Blue Line Moving Co. will be happy to hire them. Looks like they’ll be busy!”
Ellis also found himself reading articles about his own arrest in 2014 that were posted on his page by angry Facebook users.
“Is this why you hate law enforcement? That's you isn't it?” Chris Bratcher asked in a post that included a link to an article titled “UNT Football Players Arrested For Theft” that was topped with a picture of none other than Ellis and the teammate he was arrested with.
Several other posts to On The Move’s Facebook page suggested that people might not want to hire a thief to move their personal belongings.
According to Mugshots.com, Ellis and his roommate, Christopher Loving, were caught on surveillance camera stealing a 24-inch and a 32-inch television from a Denton Walmart while they were both football players for the University of North Texas.
Both players admitted to stealing a television when they were later questioned by Denton police, according to the report.
On Tuesday, a jury found 31-year-old Guyger guilty of the murder of 27-year-old Botham Jean after only five hours of deliberation.
On Wednesday, the jury sentenced the former police officer to 10 out of a possible 99 years in prison.
Officer Guyger was initially arrested on a manslaughter charge on Sept. 9, three days after she fatally shot Jean in his apartment.
A grand jury later indicted her for murder. A murder conviction could have put Guyger behind bars for life, whereas manslaughter would have carried a maximum penalty of 20 years, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Judge Tammy Kemp instructed the jury that they could sentence the former police officer to between two and 99 years in prison, and they opted to give her 10 years.
Protests of the 10-year sentence began before the impact statements were finished in the courtroom.
Black Lives Matter activists were outraged at what they considered to be too light of a sentence for Guyger.
Even as the victim’s younger brother, Brandt Jean, was giving a victim impact statement in the courtroom during which he told Guyger he loved her and forgave her and didn’t want her to have to go to prison, activists were chanting in the courthouse lobby and staging protests outside the courthouse for early evening.
“I want the best for you,” Brandt Jean said. “Because I know as well that’s exactly what Botham would want for you. And the best would be to give your life to Christ.”
Despite the family’s statements at the sentencing, protesters gathered in front of the courthouse after the sentencing and one person was arrested in the chaos that ensued.