Date: September 6, 2018
Officer: Amber Guyger
Charged: Murder, awaiting trial
Botham Jean was in his apartment in Dallas, Texas, on September 6, 2018, when off-duty Officer Amber Guyger came and fired two shots, hitting him once in the chest. She claims that she came home after a thirteen hour shift and mistakened his apartment for hers, which was one for directly below, but Jean’s door differed from every other door because he had a bright red door mat. She says that she tried to put the key in the door, which was unlocked and “slightly ajar,” and she saw a large silhouette and thought that there was a burglar in her apartment. Neighbors dispute this claim, stating that they have fire safety doors, which means that the doors automatically close and can’t stay “slightly ajar.” At least two neighbors also report to hearing her knock on the door and saying, “Let me in, let me in.” Jean’s neighbor says that she heard the two shots followed by, “Oh my God, why did you do that?” Jean was rushed to a local hospital where he was pronounced dead. He was 26 years old.
Soon after the shooting, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall announced that there would be an external investigation conducted by the Texas Rangers. During the investigation, they acquired a search warrant and contradicted Guyger’s initial statement, stating that Jean “confronted the officer at the door” after she opened the door “with a set of keys.” Neighbors filmed the door, which shows a red light when the incorrect key is inserted. Rumors started to circulate that Jean and Guyger were romantically involved, but the investigation concluded that the two didn’t know each other. Guyger was initially charged with manslaughter and released after posting a $300,000 bail, but the Texas Rangers recommended that she should be charged with murder because manslaughter is defined as a reckless act in the state of Texas. They clarified that Guyger intended to shoot Jean.
A 12 person grand jury was in charge of deciding whether to clear Guyger of charges or go to trial for manslaughter or murder. They decided to charge her with murder. Her trial begins on September 23, 2019. Botham Jean’s family filed a federal lawsuit against Guyger and the City of Dallas, citing excessive use of force which lead to his wrongful death, but that is likely to take place after the criminal trial.
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Arnold, A. (2018, November 30). Dallas Cop Who Killed Botham Jean in His Apartment Has Been Indicted on Murder. Retrieved from https://www.thecut.com/2018/09/dallas-police-shooting-botham-jean.html
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