Amber Guyger, a former Dallas Police Officer has been indicted for the murder of Botham Jean which occurred in September 2018. Faith Johnson, the Dallas County DA, told reporters that the ex-officer turned herself in and posted bond after the incident.
Johnson went ahead to say “We presented the evidence and we explained the law.” She said this was the reason for the change from a charge of manslaughter to murder. Johnson further disclosed that her office had already interviewed 300 witnesses. In rounding up her statement she said, “At the moment of the shooting, it was an intentional event.”
The victim’s family was present and had time to speak with reporters after learning of the decision. Jean’s mother went on to say, “I look forward to the next step, which is a conviction of murder for Amber Guyger. And more so, the proper penalty to reflect on the pain she has caused.” The victim’s father described him as a “sweet boy” who didn’t deserve to be shot dead.
The ex-cop’s defense team have said that they are thinking about changing venue since Guyger is now being charged for murder and not manslaughter. In response to the indictment decision they said, “What does she think about the indictment? Amber dedicated her adult life to defending and protecting people so this whole event has taken a toll emotionally and physically on her. She knows that she’s innocent. She knows that this was a tragic mistake so she’s holding up.”
Part of the statement emailed to CBS11 News by the Dallas Police Chief reads thus:
“Every person in the Dallas Police Department continues to feel anguish about this difficult and tragic event that occurred on September 6, 2018. We recognize and understand the national discord regarding the relationship between law enforcement and the communities we serve.”
Sharon Watkins Jones, the ACLU of Texas Director of Political Strategies, has also responded to the jury’s indictment. She said, “This indictment is a step toward justice for the family of Botham Jean. The Jean family’s loss cannot be restored to them, but we will continue to work to ensure that police officers are held to the same standards as everyone else in the Dallas community and across the state of Texas.”
Jean’s shooting made headlines all over the world as another case of an unarmed black man being shot by the US police. The Police have said that Guyger, who was still in her uniform, went into Jean’s apartment mistaking it for hers. The court document stated that she shot the victim, who she mistook for an intruder, after issuing commands which he refused to obey.
Jean’s family have however claimed that they believe Guyger knocked before entering Jean’s apartment and shooting him.