Killer cop Amber Guyger’s eyes well up with tears in her booking photo following her guilty verdict for murdering a black man in his home as it’s revealed she joked about MLK’s death and made critical comments about serving with black officers in deleted texts
- Amber Guyger, 31, was convicted of murder on Tuesday for shooting dead her black neighbor Botham Jean, 26, in his Dallas apartment in September 2018
- A jury reached the unanimous verdict in the high-profile trial after six days
- Shortly after verdict, prosecutors revealed text messages from Guyger’s phone
- One January 2018 text saw Guyger joking about Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s death
- Guyger also sent texts of critical comments about serving with black officers
- Social media posts shared by Guyger were shown in court that referenced guns
- Guyger, a four-year veteran with Dallas Police, was off duty but still in uniform when she fatally shot Jean in his home on the evening of September 6, 2018
- She told investigators that after a 13.5 hour shift she mistakenly entered the wrong apartment and shot Jean thinking he was an intruder
- Prosecutors argued that Guyger should have known she was on the wrong floor and questioned why she didn’t radio in for help
- Her defense attorneys tried to argue that Guyger fired her gun in self-defense based on the belief that Jean was a burglar
- The murder charge brings a prison sentence of between five and 99 years
Killer cop Amber Guyger’s eyes were filled with tears in her booking photo shortly after she was found guilty for murdering her black neighbor in his home
Killer cop Amber Guyger’s eyes were filled with tears in her booking photo shortly after she was found guilty for murdering her black neighbor in his home as prosecutors revealed that she joked about Dr Martin Luther King Jr’s death and made critical comments about serving with black officers in text messages.
Guyger was convicted of murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting 26-year-old Botham Jean in September 2018 when she claims to have mistakenly entered his apartment believing it was her own.
The showing of the messages was intended to reveal her lack of sensitivity toward black people, authorities said.
The text messages, which were accepted as evidence despite defense objections, include an exchange from January 15, 2018, when she was working security during the Dallas Martin Luther King Jr Day parade.
When asked when the parade would be over, she texted: ‘When MLK is dead… Oh, wait…’
She complained that the parade could take up to three hours and suggested that parade participants could be pushed or pepper sprayed.
Another exchange that she later deleted was with her ex-lover and police partner Martin Rivera dated March 9, 2018.
He texted her: ‘Damn I was at this area with five different black officers!!! Not racist but damn.’
She replied: ‘Not racist but just have a different way of working and it shows.’
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Guyger (right) was convicted of murder on Tuesday for fatally shooting 26-year-old Botham Jean (left) in September 2018 when she claims to have mistakenly entered his apartment believing it was her own
Prosecutors showed jurors text messages from Guyger’s cellphone that revealed her critical comments about serving with black officers and how she joked about the death of Dr Martin Luther King Jr (depicted above)
The showing of the messages was intended to reveal her lack of sensitivity toward black people, authorities said
Off-duty cop, Amber Guyger is found guilty of murder Another exchange that she later deleted was with her ex-lover and police partner Martin Rivera dated March 9, 2018
On September 4, 2018, just days before Guyger shot Jean, she received a message suggesting that she would like a German shepherd that the messenger claimed was racist.
She texted back that she hates ‘everything and everyone but y’all’.
Some of Guyger’s social media posts were also shown in court as a jury weighed how long her prison sentence should be for the murder of Jean.
The same jury that unanimously found the 31-year-old cop guilty will now consider her fate after hearing additional testimony and evidence that started just hours after her conviction.
She could be sentenced to five to 99 years in prison under Texas law.
Among that evidence shown to the court by prosecutors late Tuesday were copies of social media posts saved and posted by Guyger – some of which were about guns and killing.
‘Yah I got meh a gun a shovel an gloves if I were u back da f**k up and get out of meh f**king a**,’ she commented on one social media post.
She shared another meme that read: ‘Stay low, go fast. Kill first, die last. One shot, one kill. No luck, all skill’.
Guyger also shared another meme that said: ‘People are so ungrateful. No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them’.
Some of Guyger’s social media posts were shown in court as a jury weighs how long her prison sentence should be after she was found guilty of murdering her black neighbor
‘Yah I got meh a gun a shovel an gloves if I were u back da f**k up and get out of meh f**king a**,’ she commented on one social media post
The jury took just a matter of hours to convict Guyger earlier on Tuesday following a six-day trial.
Loud cheers erupted in the courtroom from Jean’s family as the verdict was announced with someone yelling ‘Thank you, Jesus!’ In the hallway outside the courtroom, a crowd celebrated and shouted ‘black lives matter’. When the prosecutors walked into the hall, they broke into cheers.
Guyger sat alone, weeping, at the defense table. A sheriff’s deputy appeared to stroke and fix her hair after the verdict was read out.
During the sentencing phase, Guyger’s defense attorneys can argue that she deserves a light sentence because she acted out of sudden fear and confusion.
The judge is expected to provide guidance on sentencing law. In Texas, the sentence for murder is from five to 99 years in prison. The state does not officially use the term first-degree murder.
Ahead of jury deliberations, Judge Tammy Kemp instructed the jury to decide if Guyger shooting dead her neighbor was reasonable under the circumstances. If not, they then had to decide between a murder or manslaughter charge.
It is not yet clear how long the punishment phase of the trial will last.
Botham Jean’s mother Allison (pictured) took the stand during the sentencing phase of Guyger’s trial. Allison was seen leaving the courthouse in tears after Guyger was found guilty on Tuesday
Jean’s sister Alissa Findley also took to the stand, saying her mother constantly cries and her father has become a ‘shell’ after losing their son
‘My life has not been the same’: Botham Jean’s mother sobs as she testifies her son’s death has torn her apart
Jean’s grieving mother, Allison Jean, was the first of his family members and friends to address the jury during the sentencing phase about how they were affected by the September 2018 killing.
Allison, who is from the Caribbean nation of St. Lucia, tearfully told jurors that her life hasn’t been the same since her son was shot dead by Guyger.
She said her son’s death has torn her apart.
‘My life has not been the same. It’s just been like a roller coaster. I can’t sleep, I cannot eat. It’s just been the most terrible time for me,’ she said.
‘I’ve been sick often. I have to try to keep the family together because everyone is pain. I’ve had to seek counselling. I try to pray just to help me get by.’
Allison said she spoke to her son for the last time the night before he was killed. She described the last time she physically spent time with him in the February prior as ‘beautiful’.
She described her son as an excellent student who led several clubs at school and said he created a choir just because he loved to sing. Allison also said her son was very religious and led mission trips back to his native St. Lucia.
Jean’s sister Alissa Findley also took to the stand, saying her mother constantly cries, her formerly ‘bubbly’ younger brother has retreated as if into a shell and that her father is ‘not the same.’
‘It’s like the light behind his eyes is off,’ Findley said.
She said her children are now afraid of police.
‘I want my brother back. I wish I could continue our last conversation and just not let him hang up the phone,’ Findley said.
A sheriff’s deputy inside the courtroom appeared to stroke and fix Guyger’s hair immediately after the guilty verdict was read out
The basic facts of the unusual shooting were never in dispute throughout the trial.
Guyger, a four-year veteran with Dallas Police, was off duty but still in uniform when she fatally shot Jean in his home on the evening of September 6, 2018.
She told investigators that after a 13.5 hour shift she parked on the fourth floor of her apartment complex’s garage – rather than the third floor where she lived – and found the apartment’s door unlocked.
Believing she was at her own apartment and seeing a silhouette of a figure who didn’t respond to verbal commands, Guyger said she fired two shots at Jean that killed him.
Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, had been eating a bowl of ice cream on the couch before Guyger entered his home.
Prosecutors argued during the trial that Guyger should have noticed she was on the wrong floor and that she missed missed numerous signs before entering the apartment.
They suggested she was distracted by sexually explicit phone messages with her police partner and also questioned why Guyger didn’t radio in for help when she thought there was a break-in at her home instead of entering the apartment with her gun drawn.
Prosecutors pointed out that Guyger, given she was still in uniform, had a number of non-lethal items attached to her service belt at the time of the shooting, including a stun gun and pepper spray.
Her defense attorneys, however, said she fired in self-defense based on the belief that Jean was a burglar.
They argued in their closing statements on Monday that her belief she was killing an intruder in her home was entirely reasonable and the shooting was a result of ‘a series of horrible mistakes’.
In a frantic 911 call played repeatedly during the trial, Guyger said ‘I thought it was my apartment’ nearly 20 times. Her lawyers argued that the identical physical appearance of the apartment complex from floor to floor frequently led to tenants to the wrong apartments.
Botham Jean’s mother, Allison, rejoiced in the courtroom after Guyger was found guilty of murder
Loud cheers erupted in the courtroom from Jean’s family (above after the verdict) after Judge Tammy Kemp read out the jury’s verdict
The jury that convicted Guyger was largely made up of women and people of color.
Jean, who grew up in the Caribbean island nation of St. Lucia, came to the U.S. for college and starting his career as an accountant.
His shooting drew widespread attention because of the strange circumstances and because it was one in a string of shootings of unarmed black men by white police officers.
‘A 26-year-old college-educated black man, certified public accountant, working for one of the big three accounting firms in the world … it shouldn’t take all of that for unarmed black and brown people in America to get justice,’ Benjamin Crump, one of the lawyers for Jean’s family, said at a news conference on Tuesday.
Crump said the verdict honors other people of color who were killed by police officers who were not convicted of a crime.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who also represents the family, underlined Crump’s words.
‘This is a huge victory, not only for the family of Botham Jean, but this is a victory for black people in America. It’s a signal that the tide is going to change here. Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions, and we believe that will begin to change policing culture around the world,’ Merritt said.
Guyger was arrested three days after the killing and then fired from the Dallas Police Department. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury indicted her for murder.
Jurors were allowed to consider a manslaughter charge in their verdict, which can carry between two and 20 years behind bars.
The judge ruled on Monday that jurors could also consider Castle Doctrine, otherwise known as stand your ground, when considering their verdict. The law allows a person to use deadly force in protecting a home if someone is trying to forcibly enter.
Guyger sits alone as attorneys from both sides speak to Judge Tammy Kemp moments after the Dallas cop was found guilty of murder
Guyger is pictured leaving the courtroom after she was found guilty of murder. The jury is expected to return on Tuesday afternoon for the punishment phase of the trial
‘I was scared he was going to kill me’: Amber Guyger sobbed as she testified during her trial
Guyger broke down in tears when she took to the stand during the trial last week and apologized for shooting dead her neighbor.
Her testimony marked the first time the public heard directly from her since Jean’s killing. She told the jury she wished Jean had been the one to kill her instead of the other way around.
Guyger was arrested three days after the killing and then fired from the Dallas Police Department. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury indicted her for murder
During her testimony, Guyger reenacted the moment she arrived at the wrong apartment thinking it was her own.
She said she put her key in the apartment lock and the door opened because it hadn’t been fully closed.
Guyger said she immediately drew her gun because she thought someone was in her home. She testified that she was ‘scared to death’ when she opened the door fully and saw a silhouetted figure standing in the darkness inside.
She told the jury she shouted at Jean: ‘Let me see your hands, let me see your hands’.
Guyger explained she couldn’t see his hands and that he began coming toward her at a ‘fast-paced’ walk, yelling ‘hey, hey, hey’ in an ‘aggressive voice’.
She said that is when she fired her gun twice.
‘I was scared he was going to kill me,’ she said.
She said she intended to kill him when she pulled the trigger because that’s what she had been trained to do as a police officer.
During her testimony, she recounted police training that focused on learning to control suspects and the importance of seeing their hands, which kicked in as she spotted Jean.
Guyger broke down in tears when she took to the stand during the trial and apologized for shooting dead her neighbor
With her heavy service vest, lunch bag, and her backpack in her left arm, Guyger showed jurors how she entered the apartment the night of the shooting (right). Under cross examination, prosecutor Jason Hermus asked Guyger to aim the gun at him like she did the night of the shooting during her murder trial (left)
TIMELINE OF THE AMBER GUYGER CASE
September 6, 2018: Botham Jean, a 27-year-old accountant at PwC, was sitting on his couch eating ice cream when Amber Guyger entered his apartment and shot him.
September 9, 2018: Guyger is charged with manslaughter and is put on administrative leave from her job. Guyger, who was still in uniform, told investigators that she had finished a 13.5 hour shift and mistakenly parked on the fourth floor instead of the third floor. She said she found the door of the apartment she thought was hers ‘slightly ajar’. She entered the apartment and fired two shots when she was a figure coming towards her.
September 13, 2018: Jean’s funeral is held at the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Dallas.
September 24, 2018: Guyger is fired from the Dallas Police Department.
November 30, 2018: Guyger is indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury.
September 23, 2019: Guyger’s murder trial begins in Dallas. Over the next week, jurors were shown body cam footage and 911 call from the night of the shooting. Jurors also hear from neighbors, Dallas PD officers and crime scene analysts.
September 26, 2019: Guyger testifies in her own defense saying she was ‘scared to death’ when she encountered Jean in what she allegedly believed to be her own apartment.
September 30, 2019: Prosecutors and defense deliver closing arguments. Jury starts deliberating.
October 1, 2019: Guyger is found guilty of murder.
When asked how she felt about killing an innocent man, she said through tears: ‘No police officer ever would want to hurt an innocent person.
‘I feel like a terrible person. I feel like a piece of cr**. I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life. I feel like I don’t deserve the chance to be with my family and friends.
‘I wish he was the one with the gun and had killed me. I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life. I am so sorry. This is not about hate, it’s about being scared that night.’
It is relatively rare for criminal defendants to testify in their own defense at trial given prosecutors can cross-examine them. Legal experts said Guyger’s lawyers may have wanted to her to testify to make her appear human.
Defense attorneys questioned Guyger about her childhood and her aspirations to become a police officer.
‘I just wanted to help people and that was the one career that I thought I could help people in,’ Guyger said.
Guyger told the jury that police work was ‘the one thing I wanted to do since I was little’.
Prosecutors, however, cast doubt on Guyger’s grief and wondered why she didn’t call for backup instead of confronting Jean and questioned her attempts to save his life.
When prosecutors asked Guyger why she didn’t radio in for help when she thought there was a break-in at what she thought was her home, she replied that going through the doorway with her gun drawn ‘was the only option that went through my head’.
The prosecutor also grilled Guyger about why she didn’t perform ‘proper CPR’ on Jean after she shot him.
He asked about an eight-hour de-escalation training course she had taken that April, but Guyger told the jury she could no longer remember what she learned in the course.
She said she performed some chest compressions on Jean with one hand while using her phone with the other, but she also acknowledged stopping several times.
Prosecutors suggested that Guyger was less than grief-stricken in the aftermath of the shooting, saying that two days after she shot Jean, she asked her police partner, with whom she was romantically involved, if he wanted to go for drinks.
Guyger admitted that she sent flirtatious, sexually-orientated messages to Martin Rivera and talked about getting drunk. The court heard that Rivera is married and has children.
She testified that they had a yearlong relationship, which she ended because it was ‘morally wrong’.
‘Super horny today’: Guyger sent explicit texts to police partner and lover the day of the shooting but later deleted them
In addition to the texts Guyger sent her lover after the shooting, prosecutors revealed during the trial that she had also exchanged sexually explicit messages and photos the day she shot dead Jean.
Prosecutors suggested during the trial that Guyger was distracted by sexually explicit phone messages with her police partner Martin Rivera before the shooting. She also sent two text messages to him immediately after the shooting. Both Rivera and Guyger deleted the texts soon after
Prosecutors said Guyger sent a message to Rivera saying she was ‘super horny today’ and a Snapchat message saying ‘Wanna touch?’ just hours before the shooting.
Just prior to the shooting, prosecutors said Guyger was on the phone with Rivera for 16 minutes as she headed back to to her apartment.
Prosecutors made the argument that Guyger was distracted by her phone conversation with Rivera when she mistook Jean’s apartment for hers.
Rivera took to the stand during the trial and told jurors that their conversation was was mostly about police work but his memory of the call was hazy.
He denied the prosecutor’s suggestion that he had made any plans to rendezvous with Guyger later that night.
Prosecutors said that after the shooting, Guyger sent two text messages to her partner while she was simultaneously on the phone to 911 as Jean was bleeding to death on his floor.
She had texted him to say ‘I’m f**ked’ and that she needed him in the minutes after she shot Jean, the court heard.
Guyger deleted the logs of her text exchanges with Rivera from her cellphone after the shooting.
Rivera said he didn’t not know why she had done that but admitted that he had also deleted their text exchanges.
Guyger later testified that she deleted the texts between her and her partner because she was ashamed to be in a relationship with him.
She added that she had deleted texts between them before.
Body cam footage showed first responders performing CPR on victim as Guyger stood outside in the hallway on her phone
In the frantic 911 call played in court early in the trial, Guyger – who was later fired from the force – can be heard saying ‘I thought it was my apartment’ nearly 20 times.
She also says: ‘I’m gonna lose my job’ and ‘I am going to need a supervisor.’
‘I’m f****d. Oh my God. I’m sorry,’ Guyger says in the recording.
Throughout the call, she also spoke to Jean, called him ‘bud’ and encouraged him to stay alive.
Guyger was shown (left) in police body camera footage (played to the jury during her murder trial on Tuesday) as first responders arrived to the Dallas apartment where she shot her neighbor Botham Jean last year
Guyger was captured on an officer’s body cam standing in the corridor outside on her phone as CPR was being given to Jean inside, according to prosecutors
Jurors were also shown footage from a body camera worn by one of two officers who arrived at the apartment after Guyger called 911 to report the shooting.
Officers could be seen running towards Jean’s apartment as Guyger screamed out that she was off-duty.
Guyger was standing near the front door when the officers arrived and could be heard saying: ‘I thought it was my apartment’.
The footage showed the two officers immediately rendering CPR to Jean who was shown lying on the floor surrounded by blood.
Guyger appeared to be pushed out of the apartment while the officers gave Jean first aid.
A different body cam image showed Guyger standing in hallway outside the apartment looking at her phone as CPR was being administered.
Guyger was criticized by prosecutors during the trial for not rendering aid to Jean after she shot him.
Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus asked her: ‘Why couldn’t you have given him full undivided and proper attention? You can put the phone on speaker phone’.
She replied: ‘I had so much racing through my head’.
Other footage shown during the trial showed her hugging and speaking to fellow officers on the scene, which prosecutors have argued showed she was given special treatment.
Crime scene photos show Guyger had a taser and pepper spray strapped to her utility belt during shooting
A crime scene analyst, who examined the scene and took photos of Guyger after the shooting, testified that the cop had a Taser and her pistol strapped to her at the time.
Prosecutors showed photos to the jury that analyst Robyn Carr took of Guyger inside a crime scene van after she fatally shot Jean.
Guyger can be seen in full police uniform with her utility belt still strapped on.
Prosecutors pointed to Guyger’s stun gun and the analyst confirmed that it was a Taser that ‘shoots out an electric probe that gets inserted into an individual’s skin’.
She also confirmed Guyger had her pistol strapped to her at the time.
Photos taken by a crime scene analyst were shown during Guyger’s murder trial on Wednesday. The analyst testified that this photo showed Guyger had a taser and stun gun strapped to utility belt when she shot dead Jean
This photo taken inside a crime scene van after Guyger fatally shot Jean shows her gun (far left), her stun gun (far right) and pepper spray (second from left) strapped to her utility belt, an analyst and investigator testified
Carr seized Guyger’s gun – photos of which were also shown to the jury – as evidence in the investigation.
Texas Ranger Michael Adcock, who was among the investigators, was asked during his testimony on Thursday about the non-lethal items attached to Guyger’s belt following the shooting.
He confirmed that in addition to the Taser and gun, Guyger also had OC spray – or pepper spray – on her at the time.
Prosecutors questioned Adcock about the radio attached to Guyger’s belt, saying: ‘If an officer is in trouble and needs immediate assistance what is the primary method of communication?’
‘It’s the radio, I guess,’ Adcock replied.
The prosecutor asked: ‘If you had a cellphone could you use that as well?’ to which Adcock responded: ‘Yes, sir’.
Under cross examination, Adcock said he wouldn’t use a stun gun or pepper spray if he believed he was in a deadly force situation and would use a handgun.
Neighbors ‘often went to the wrong floor in their Dallas building’ – as investigator testified layout of the two apartments were similar and that victim’s door had a structural flaw
Footage and still images were shown in court of Guyger’s apartment that were taken by multiple investigators in the days after the shooting.
The footage showed the view of her apartment from the entryway to her home and also panned to show views of the living room.
Prosecutors made the argument that the apartment looked different to the victim’s home. They noted there were flowers on a small table and a large clock inside Guyger’s home.
But Texas Ranger David Armstrong – who was a lead investigator – testified that Guyger’s apartment had a similar layout to the neighbor she shot.
During his testimony, defense attorneys showed photos to the jury that compared Guyger’s apartment layout to that of Jean’s home.
Jurors were shown photos during the trial that compared Guyger’s apartment layout to that of Jean’s home. Pictured above is Jean’s apartment in the days after his death
An investigator testified that the layouts of the apartment were the same and that both Guyger and Jean had their couch and TVs in the same position. Prosecutors, however, noted that the apartments looked different. Pictured above is Guyger’s apartment after the shooting
Armstrong said both Guyger and Jean had their couch and TVs in the same position.
Photos comparing views of the hallways, parking garages and doorways on the third and fourth floor of the apartment complex were also shown to the court.
When questioned by defense attorneys, Armstrong agreed that they looked similar.
Armstrong also testified that the door of Jean’s apartment did not close properly because it had a structural flaw.
At the time of her arrest, Guyger said she had found the door of the apartment she thought was hers ‘slightly ajar’.
She claimed the door opened when she used her electronic key to enter the apartment and she believed she was being robbed when she saw Jean.
Armstrong said it appeared the screws in the strike plate of Jean’s door had been screwed in too far, which caused it to ‘bow out’.
This flaw prevented the door from closing properly as it was designed to do, Armstrong told the court.
He said it meant that the door would sometimes latch but other times it wouldn’t secure and close properly.
Defense attorneys said Jean’s door was open the day Guyger entered his apartment and shot him dead.
The door of the Dallas apartment where Guyger shot dead her neighbor after saying she mistakenly thought it was her own had a structural flaw that caused it not to latch and close properly, an investigator testified. These images were taken by police during the investigation
The investigator said it appeared the screws in the strike plate had been screwed in too far, which caused it to ‘bow out’. Pictured above is a photo of the strike plate that was shown to jurors on Wednesday
The investigator said this flaw prevented the door from closing properly as it was designed to do. He said it meant that the door would sometimes latch but other times it wouldn’t secure and close properly
Armstrong went on to testify that he doesn’t think Guyger committed a crime.
‘I don’t believe that (the shooting) was reckless or criminally negligent based on the totality of the investigation and the circumstances and facts,’ Armstrong said.
The jury wasn’t present when he said he believed she acted reasonably after perceiving Jean as a threat. The judge later ruled that the jury couldn’t hear the Texas Ranger’s opinion of the reasonableness of Guyger’s actions.
In the jury’s presence, Armstrong testified that going to the wrong apartment was common at that complex.
Armstrong said he interviewed 297 of the 349 residents living at the apartment complex. He said 46 of those residents had mistakenly gone to the wrong floor and put their key in the door before.
The percentage was higher for those living on the third and fourth floors – the same floors as Guyger and Jean – with 38 saying they had unintentionally walked to the wrong apartment.
Armstrong also said that 93 of the residents had parked on the wrong floor in the parking garage on previous occasions. He said 76 of those residents lived on the third or fourth floor.
Botham’s death sparks outrage as he is remembered as a passionate man and his family accuse police of trying to ‘assassinate his character’
Botham Jean was a native of St Lucia who was working in Dallas for PricewaterhouseCoopers – an accounting and consulting firm.
He had come to the US in 2011 after winning a place at Harding University in Arkansas so he could remain within a religious community while getting his education.
He studied business administration and accounting and management and graduated in 2016. PwC hired him out of college as a risk assurance associate.
At his funeral, which was attended by hundreds of people, Jean was described as a talented and passionate man who excelled at everything and worked with orphans.
He had also confided to his uncle that he might one day want to be prime minister of his native Caribbean island country of St Lucia.
‘Our prince royal was snatched from us by the quick-to-trigger finger of one trained to protect and serve,’ Jean’s uncle, Ignatius Jean, said to applause at his funeral.
Botham Jean (front) was a native of St Lucia who was working in Dallas for PricewaterhouseCoopers – an accounting and consulting firm
‘Perhaps the good that might overcome this violent, heinous act will be that those who are trained to serve and protect will serve love and peace and not violence and bullets.’
Jean’s death sparked protest and outrage in the African-American community, which saw the case as potentially another one of a white officer getting off lightly for killing a black man.
Critics, including Jean’s family, wondered why it took three days for Guyger to be charged, why she was not taken into custody immediately after the shooting and whether race played a factor in her decision to use deadly force.
Guyger was arrested 72 hours after the shooting. She was initially charged with manslaughter before a grand jury chose to indict her on the more serious charge of murder. She wasn’t fired from the force until two weeks after Jean’s death.
Police came under fire during the investigation after the victim’s family accused officers of trying to ‘assassinate’ Jean’s character.
They also expressed fury that authorities sought a search warrant that resulted in the discovery of marijuana in the victim’s apartment.
Lee Merritt, one of the Jean family attorneys, said the search warrant, which allowed investigators to look for drugs, should have never been issued.
Botham Jean leads worship at a Harding University presidential reception in Dallas back in September 2017
He said investigators wasted no time in digging for dirt they could use to smear Jean’s name. Within hours of Jean being shot, they asked a judge for a warrant to search his home for drugs, among other things.
They showed that, among the things, police found a small amount of marijuana — 10.4 grams and a marijuana grinder.
The news came the same day that mourners at her son’s funeral remembered him for his religious convictions and kindness.
‘To have my son smeared in such a way, I think shows that there (are people) who are really nasty, who are really dirty and are going to cover up for the devil Amber Guyger,’ she said.
After the charges were announced against Guyger, Jean’s mother said: ‘I truly believe that she inflicted tremendous evil on my son. He didn’t deserve it. He was seated in his own apartment.’
Jean’s family filed a lawsuit against Guyger and the city of Dallas following the shooting. The federal suit argues that Guyger used excessive force in the shooting and contends the department did not give her adequate training.
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