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Dallas police officer charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of unarmed man in his own apartment

Dallas police officer charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of unarmed man in his own apartment

Postby smix » Mon Sep 10, 2018 6:47 am

Dallas police officer charged with manslaughter in fatal shooting of unarmed man in his own apartment
CNN

URL: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/09/us/amber ... index.html
Category: Police
Published: September 9, 2018

Description: (CNN) - A Dallas police officer was arrested Sunday in connection with the shooting death of Botham Shem Jean, the Texas Rangers said. Amber Guyger, who is white, was off-duty when she shot Jean, a black man, after mistakenly entering his apartment at the complex where she also lived, police said Thursday. Jean, 26, a native of St. Lucia who worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas, died at a hospital. Guyger, 30, of Dallas, was charged with manslaughter, according to jail records. The four-year veteran of the department was released from the Kaufman County Jail on Sunday evening after posting a $300,000 bond. It wasn't immediately clear if Guyger had an attorney. Guyger's arrest was announced as Jean's family and their attorneys say they met with Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson to demand the officer's arrest. "We don't need evidence beyond a reasonable doubt at this point," the family's attorney, S. Lee Merritt, told reporters Sunday. "At this point, we need probable cause of a crime. And the existence of probable cause is painstakingly clear to everyone." Merritt said attorneys presented prosecutors with a witness, and video evidence, which didn't capture the shooting, but declined to elaborate. "We're still dealing in America with black people being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways, driving while black, walking while black and now we have to add living while black," co-counsel Benjamin Crump said. Jean worked as a risk assurance experienced associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, according to his LinkedIn page. He earned a bachelor's degree from Harding University in Arkansas in 2016. Crump said Jean was "living, doing everything that you want a young person to do." "He had no criminal history. He was an amazing student. He was an amazing citizen. He loved God," Crump said. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings thanked the Texas Rangers and praised Police Chief Ulysha Renee Hall, who asked the Texas Rangers to take over the investigation. "Please continue to pray for the family of Botham Jean tonight and in the weeks and months ahead," Rawlings said in a statement.



Dallas police identify officer who went to wrong apartment and killed a man
CNN

URL: https://www.cnn.com/2018/09/09/us/dalla ... index.html
Category: Police
Published: September 9, 2018

Description: (CNN) - The Texas Rangers have postponed seeking a warrant on manslaughter charges against an officer who shot and killed a man in Dallas. Police identified the officer as Amber Guyger, a four-year veteran of the department assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division. Guyger was involved in another shooting incident in May 2017, when a suspect took her taser, according to a Dallas Police Department news release. The decision comes one day after Dallas Police Chief Ulysha Renee Hall said police were pursing a manslaughter warrant against the officer in a case she described as having "more questions than answers." Guyger, who is white, shot the black man after mistakenly entering his apartment at the complex where she also lived, Hall said Thursday. Botham Shem Jean, 26, a native of St. Lucia who worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas, died at a hospital, police said. In a statement Saturday, the police department said the Texas Rangers took over the investigation to "eliminate the appearance of any potential bias" and "they made the decision to postpone pursuing a warrant until they could follow up on information that they received from the interview with the officer." The shooting took place Thursday night at the South Side Flats. "On behalf of the Dallas Police Department, we are continuing to pray for Mr. Jean's family, and ask that the community remain patient as this investigation is conducted," Hall said in a statement. "A female Dallas police officer returned to what she believed to be her apartment after her shift ended -- she was still in uniform when she encountered Mr. Jean inside the apartment," Hall said Thursday. The police chief said it isn't clear what "the interaction was between her and the victim. Then at some point she fired her weapon striking the victim." The officer called 911 and officers "responded in about four minutes," Hall said. "Right now, there are more questions than answers," Hall said. Her initial remarks at a news conference were also posted on the Dallas police blog.
Neighbor heard shot
Alyssa Kinsey, Jean's next-door neighbor, told CNN she was home on the phone Thursday night when she heard a shot. She said she then heard what sounded like "running steps" and a female voice calling the police. Kinsey said she could see from her patio that the lights were turned on in Jean's apartment. She said she heard more footsteps outside her apartment, a woman's voice and a commotion. The apartment doors at the complex are all similar, Kinsey said, but Jean's doorstep had a bright red mat. She said she met Jean when she first moved into the South Side Flats in April. "He was great, as a neighbor -- quiet, friendly, super chill," Kinsey said. "Never had parties. We would chat about life, smiling and laughing. He had a huge smile."
Victim's funeral Thursday
Hall said police aren't handling the case under the department's usual officer-involved shooting protocol. "At the very early stages of this investigation -- initial indications were that they were what we consider circumstances of an officer-involved shooting," Hall said. "However, as we continued this investigation it became clear that we were dealing with what appears to be a much different and very unique situation." "A blood sample was drawn to test for drugs and alcohol, we are in the process of obtaining a warrant, and we have also invited the Texas Rangers to conduct an independent investigation," she said, referring to the state law enforcement agency. In the May 2017 incident, Guyger was trying to identify a woman in a car when another passenger got out and took her taser, police said in the release. Guyger shot and injured the suspect, who was later charged with taking a weapon from an officer, possession of meth and marijuana, and parole violation. Jean was listed on LinkedIn as a risk assurance experienced associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers. He earned a bachelor's degree at Harding University in Arkansas. "This is a terrible tragedy," Jean's employer said. "We are simply heartbroken to hear of his death." Jean described himself on LinkedIn as a "young professional, engaged in developing a career built upon integrity, dedication and relationships, leveraging useful technologies to gain an understanding of and add value in a range (of) industries, striving towards leadership in my career, my community and society." Funeral services for Jean are scheduled for 11 a.m. Thursday at the Dallas West Church of Christ, which Jean attended. Plans for the funeral were announced at a prayer vigil Saturday. The family has retained the services of civil rights attorney Ben Crump and Dallas lawyer Lee Merritt.
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Ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty in wrong-apartment murder

Postby smix » Wed Oct 02, 2019 5:36 am

Ex-Dallas police officer Amber Guyger guilty in wrong-apartment murder
Reuters

URL: https://www.reuters.com/article/us-texa ... SKBN1WG4BV
Category: Police
Published: October 1, 2019

Description: DALLAS (Reuters) - A Dallas jury on Tuesday found former police officer Amber Guyger guilty of murder for accidentally walking into a neighbor’s apartment while thinking it was her own and fatally shooting him as he ate ice cream. The Sept. 6, 2018 killing of Botham Jean, a 26-year-old black PwC accountant, by a white officer sparked street protests, particularly when prosecutors initially opted to bring the lesser charge of manslaughter against Guyger, 31. “We the jury unanimously find the defendant Amber Guyger guilty of murder as charged in the indictment,” Judge Tammy Kemp read aloud to the courtroom from the jurors’ statement. A sob cut the judge off and Kemp paused to address the courtroom: “No outbursts.” Guyger, 31, could face life in prison for the slaying. The jury began hearing testimony during the sentencing phase of the trial - Texas is among a handful of U.S. states where juries can decide on sentencing - but adjourned for the day by late afternoon. Prosecutors showed them several text messages that painted Guyger as a violent racist. One text Guyger wrote in January 2018 stated how she would like to use pepper spray on the crowd at a Martin Luther King Jr. parade in Dallas, while in another she wrote that her black police colleagues “just have a different way of working and it shows.” Guyger also shared a post on Pinterest that stated: “I wear all black to remind you not to mess with me, because I’m already dressed for your funeral.”
RARE CONVICTION
It is relatively rare for U.S. police officers to be convicted of murder for shooting people they view as suspects. But unlike other recent high-profile killings, such as those of Michael Brown in Missouri and Philando Castile in Minnesota, Guyger was not on duty or responding to a reported crime when she pulled the trigger. “Botham was the best we had to offer. It shouldn’t take all that for unarmed black and brown people to get justice,” said civil rights attorney Benjamin Crump, who is representing the Jean family. “This verdict is for Trayvon Martin, for Michael Brown ... for Eric Garner ... for so many unarmed black and brown unarmed human beings across America.” Martin, whose family was also represented by Crump, was shot and killed in 2012 by a civilian neighborhood watchman in Florida, who was cleared. Garner died in 2014 when a New York police officer put him in a prohibited chokehold, that officer was fired last month. Guyger, who had spent four years on the force before the killing, took the rare step of testifying in her own defense during her trial, tearfully expressing regret for shooting Jean but saying she had believed her life was in danger when she pulled the trigger. During the trial, Guyger’s defense attorney said she was “on autopilot” after a long work day, when she mistakenly parked on the wrong floor in the garage and was able to enter Jean’s apartment because he had left the door slightly ajar. “I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. I have to live with this every single day,” Guyger told the jury of eight women and four men. In cross-examination, Assistant District Attorney Jason Hermus asked her, “When you shot him twice, you intended to kill him, didn’t you?” “I did,” Guyger responded, in a calm voice.
NO FIRST AID
Prosecutors also argued that Guyger did little to help Jean even after realizing her mistake, calling the 911 emergency phone number for an ambulance but not administering first aid. Hermus also told the jury that Guyger missed blatant clues that she was not in her own apartment - including the smell of marijuana smoke - because she was distracted after a 16-minute phone conversation on her commute with her former police partner. Guyger testified that the call was in relation to work. Neither prosecutors nor the defense focused on race during the trial. Lee Merritt, another lawyer for the Jean family, said they were unsurprised by the verdict. “You had someone who was unarmed, unaggressive eating a bowl of ice cream, and somebody barged in and shot him to death,” Merritt told reporters after the verdict was read. “We believed the right verdict would come out, though we knew that in America that is rare.” Jean’s mother, Allison, was the first to provide testimony in the sentencing phase of the trial. She told the jury her son was a star student who had attended Harding University, a Christian school in Arkansas. When asked about the moment she learned her son had been killed, she choked on tears. “My life has not been the same. It’s been a roller coaster,” she said. “I cannot sleep. I cannot eat. It’s just been the most terrible time for me.”
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