Dallas, TX — Moments ago, former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder for shooting and killing Botham Jean in his own apartment. She now faces a maximum of life in prison. This verdict is certainly a win for police accountability and definitely not predictable as police officers — even while off duty — are all too often acquitted for hurting or killing innocent people.
The deliberations started on Monday and were expected to last through the middle of the week. However, Tuesday morning, the jury came back with a unanimous verdict of guilty.
BREAKING: Amber Guyger found GUILTY of murder at trial in fatal shooting of Botham Jeanhttps://t.co/mDxlZcwf6a
— Rachel Blevins (@RachBlevins) October 1, 2019
The reason so many people thought she would walk free is that from the start, Guyger has been given special privilege. After she admitted to walking into the wrong apartment and killing the innocent Botham Jean, it took several days for police to even bring charges against her. In fact, it would be revealed during the trial that two days after she killed Jean, Guyger was texting her fling talking about various sexual fantasies and how drunk they were going to get.
It was as if she knew she was going to get her blue privilege right from the get-go. However, that privilege seems to have run out.
Her blue privilege ran out despite the fact that the judge said the jury could consider that Guyger killed Jean under the state’s Castle Doctrine. Under the Castle Doctrine in Texas, residents are justified in killing intruders in their own home if they fill threatened. The only problem with this defense is that Guyger was not in her own home.
Nevertheless, the Texas Ranger investigation “reasonably concluded” that Guyger could’ve perceived Jean as a threat because she believed she was in her own home. Seriously.
who wants to bet she walks? pic.twitter.com/86KunpQZQK
— Matt Agorist (@MattAgorist) September 25, 2019
Luckily, the jury did not buy the police union’s defense and this killer cop will get the justice she deserves.
As TFTP previously reported, Guyger was off duty but still in uniform when she entered Jean’s apartment and shot him in cold blood. She claims she accidentally went into the wrong apartment and thought she saw an intruder. However, the attorney for the Jean family — after listening to the 911 recording — pointed out how fast she shot Jean after entering, claiming she didn’t have time to even question the “intruder.”
“There was nothing in that video or the recording where she ever indicated she thought Botham was trying to harm her,” the family’s civil attorney Daryl Washington said. “She was very fast to shoot without asking very many questions.”
“I always hesitate to say things are racial, but I think what happened is she saw an African-American male and she responded and she shot him,” Washington said.
As NBC reports, prosecutors said Jean was watching television and eating ice cream in his living room when Guyger burst inside, likely scaring him. The trajectory of the bullet showed that he was either getting up from his couch or cowering when Guyger fired her service weapon, they added.
The “investigation” into the killing of Botham Jean was skewed from the start with police spinning the story in Guyger’s favor.
“Guyger entered the building and walked down the fourth-floor hallway to what she thought was her apartment,” the arrest warrant stated. “She inserted a unique door key, with an electronic chip, into the door keyhole. The door, which was slightly ajar prior to Guyger’s arrival, fully opened under the force of the key insertion.”
“Guyger drew her firearm, gave verbal commands that were ignored by … Jean,” according to the warrant. “Guyger fired her handgun two times striking [Jean] in the torso. Guyger entered the apartment, immediately called 911, requesting police and EMS, and provided first aid to … Jean.
“Due to the interior darkness of the apartment, Guyger turned on the interior lights while on the phone with 911. Upon being asked where she was located by emergency dispatchers, Guyger returned to the front door to observe the address and discovered she was at the wrong apartment,” according to the arrest warrant.
Given all the details in the arrest warrant about what transpired on the 911 call, it seems that if the department was interested in transparency, that they would have immediately released the recordings. However, the department and the city seemingly could not have cared less about being transparent and the recordings had to be released by media, not police.
The Dallas Morning News reported in October that the city claimed that they can’t release the 911 calls because it would ruin their investigation. However, many departments across the country quickly release 911 call recordings soon after they are made and this doesn’t seem to hinder their investigation at all.
But it’s not just 911 recordings. According to the Dallas Morning News, other records that police and prosecutors refused to release include: Guyger’s personnel file, records related to her shooting of a man she said took her Taser during a struggle in 2017, Guyger’s clock-in and clock-out times the day of the shooting, Guyger’s annual salary, previous administrative leave with the department, other 911 calls about the shooting, Guyger’s work schedule, body camera and dash camera videos, and any off-duty jobs she was approved to work.
Police also refused to immediately release the results of her drug and alcohol tests the public was told she was given that night.
On the contrary, however, the police had no problem releasing information about the victim. On the day this mother had to bury her son, police chose to release the results of the search warrant from his apartment, claiming they found a tiny bit of pot.
Adding to the insidious nature of their “investigation” is the fact that no search warrant was ever executed on Guyger’s apartment. Why was that?
As stated above, the special privilege began from the start as it would take police three days to arrest Guyger after she killed Jean and even then, she was merely charged with manslaughter. However, months later, a grand jury indicted the officer for murder.
And now, we finally see justice. Hopefully this is a turning point for other officer involved killings in which innocent people lose their lives to fearful, negligent police officers who think they can literally get away with murder.