Former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger Charged With Murder Of Botham Jean
Maybe there will be real justice for Jean's family.
Update (November 30, 2018): Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was indicted for the killing of Botham Jean. A grand jury charged Guyger with murder on Friday, reports the Star-Telegram.
The jury began examining evidence in the case on Monday. They were tasked with deciding on the former officer's charge and whether she would be indicted. Guyger was arrested on September 9, three days after she shot and killed Jean in his apartment. She was initially charged with manslaughter and was fired 15 days later, on September 24, following community outcry, according to WFAA.
Guyger argued she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and thought he was an intruder. Jean’s family traveled to Dallas from St. Lucia in anticipation of the proceedings and has filed a lawsuit against Guyger and the city. The young man's mother, Allison, said the trial has been difficult because of the way it highlights her son's absence.
”You see, the one person who cannot speak is Botham,” she said on Sunday. “He’s the one that I would have depended on for the answers.”
Original: The newly elected district attorney in Dallas County, Texas, is ready to charge former officer Amber Guyger for the murder of Botham Jean.
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District Attorney-elect John Creuzot beat Republican incumbent Faith Johnson during the midterm elections. Johnson has served as the city's DA since 2016. According to NBC Dallas Fort Worth, the retired judge's first order of business will be holding Guyger accountable for the shooting of the 26-year-old.
On September 6, Guyger entered Jean's apartment, allegedly believing it was her own, and shot the St. Lucia native. Reports state the 30-year-old Dallas police officer entered Jean's unit by accident, and a half-dressed Jean was an intruder.
She was charged with manslaughter. Mounting pressure from the public and protesters forced Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall to fire Guyger on September 24.
“Manslaughter is an inappropriate charge, based on the circumstances as I understand them,” Creuzot told reporters on last Thursday. “Once I get in there and I get everything in front of me and it appears the most appropriate charge is murder, then that’s the charge we will go forward with.”
Johnson was responsible for overseeing the high-profile police involved-shooting of unarmed teen Jordan Edwards. Johnson spearheaded the conviction and sentencing of former Balch Springs police officer Roy Oliver. However, her mishandling of the Jean shooting cost her the job.
"There are a lot of good prosecutors in the Dallas County District Attorney’s office who want to do the right thing. They just haven’t been shown what the right thing is," he said.
The Mercury Times reports Jean's family filed a federal lawsuit against the former officer and the city of Dallas.
"They need to be held accountable like anyone else," Creuzot said of law enforcement officers. "99.9 percent of our police officers are great people and doing it for the right reason, but there are going to be those individuals out there who are going to shoot and hurt and kill someone and they need to be held accountable just like you and I would be held accountable,” he said.
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