Race & Identity
Dallas Police Chief Makes BS Claim That The Law Prohibits Her From Firing Amber Guyger
Chief Renee Hall said there were laws prevented her from taking action but it isn't clear what the laws were.
Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall attempted to defend her decision not to fire officer Amber Guyger for the killing of 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean.
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During a town hall at Paul Quinn College on Tuesday, Hall claimed there were a series of laws preventing her from terminating the 30-year-old, reports ABC 8.
“Because of federal, state, and local laws surrounding our force and the police officer," she said. "Civil service laws, there are things we have to do as an agency that are required. I can’t just supersede policy just because people want me to.”
Guyger was charged with manslaughter for killing Jean, who she allegedly believed was an intruder in her apartment on Sept. 6. Mistaking his apartment for her own would cost him his life. Activists have criticized the chief's handling of the shooting and have led several demonstrations in the city demanding justice.
Hall, who turned the case over to Texas Rangers, came under fire for a warrant issued to search Jean's apartment reports KIIITV. Protesters reignited demonstrations recently on the belief the department was criminalizing the victim.
Civil rights attorney Justin Moore, who served as one of the panelists at the community meeting, could not believe Hall's explanation for her lack of action on the matter.
"I was completely mystified, and I really didn't understand where it came from last night. It seemed like Chief Hall might not have been well informed on the law,” Moore said.
According to Dallas Police Department general orders, Hall is allowed to take whatever measures she must in situations like this. If anything, she can fire Guyger while an internal investigation is underway.
"The Chief of Police may circumvent all formal disciplinary procedures to render an immediate decision when it deems it necessary to preserve the integrity of the department,” he continued.
General order 508, as it is formally called, can allow the chief to "circumvent the formal disciplinary procedures not the investigative process.”
Although that is the case, the Dallas Police Department has fired an officer amid an internal investigation before. Four years ago, former officer Amy Wilburn was fired for shooting a man in his car according to Think Progress.
Four years ago, former officer Cardan Spencer. was fired for shooting a mentally ill man.
“Obviously, we can’t talk about the facts. The only thing I can say … is that we are investigating that case, it’s still ongoing, and we haven’t slowed up," Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson told WBUR Wednesday. "We’re looking at every conceivable, possible thing that we can look at to be able to bring this case to the grand jury. And it won’t be tomorrow, it won’t be next week, because we say to people, ‘We want to get it right.'”
Police Still Haven't Searched Amber Guyger's Apartment In Connection With The Killing Of Botham Shem Jean
Nine People Who Protested Botham Jean's Death Have Been In Jail Longer Than The Officer Who Killed Him