Another one, dubious and as deadly as ever. Amber Guyger, a white 30-year-old Dallas cop has been charged with manslaughter after she walked into the apartment of 26-year-old Botham Jean, a black native of Saint Lucia in the Caribbean, shot him twice in the chest, and killed him. A devout Christian and talented singer, Jean worked at PricewaterhouseCoopers; a college friend described him as "wildly popular, hugely successful, and an incredible leader...he was a gentleman and a scholar." Guyger, off-duty but still in uniform, was returning home from either a 12 or 15-hour shift Thursday night; she said she mistook Jean's apartment for her own, which was a floor below in the same complex. Weird, given he had a red welcome mat at the door (she didn't) and presumably different stuff in his place, but okay.
Dallas police requested an arrest warrant Friday for Guyger after Jean’s death was ruled a homicide; it wasn't issued until Sunday, reportedly because the Texas Rangers took over the case and were still investigating. Guyger was booked into jail that evening and was freed an hour later after posting $300,000 bond. In an affidavit released Monday, she made several shady new claims. She said Jean's door was open; she didn't know it was the wrong apartment until after she shot him; she saw "a large silhouette" - cue myth of the big black dude - as she entered; and Jean "ignored" her "verbal commands" - in, lest we forget, his own apartment. At least two witnesses refute her; they say they heard a woman knocking on the closed door and saying "Let me in,” and Jean was too “meticulous” to ever leave his door ajar. Also Guyger, it turns out, has been here before: she shot and wounded a suspect in 2017, but wasn't charged.
SCROLL TO CONTINUE WITH CONTENT
The media landscape is changing fast
Our news team is changing too as we work hard to bring you the news that matters most.
Change is coming. And we've got it covered.
Given the contradictions in Guyger's story, officials say she could face stiffer charges once her case goes to a grand jury. For now, his family is left to grieve and seek answers. They gathered this weekend for a vigil at Jean's Dallas church, where the congregation honored him with one of his favorite hymns, "My God is Real," and a friend compared him to holy men of the Bible who gave friends spiritual guidance and "evangelized every day." His loss, he said, is "a disservice to humanity." It's also why Kaepernick and so many others continue to speak out in righteous rage, said family attorney Benjamin Crump, who said Jean's death should "astonish most sensible Americans...Black people have been killed by police in some of the most arbitrary ways in America. Blacks have been killed for ‘driving while black’ in their automobiles, ‘walking while black’ in their neighborhoods and now ‘living while black’ in their own apartment."
Critics online echoed him. The harsh clear lesson, said one: "Suit. Tie. Christian. Respectable. At home. Black. Dead." Jean's mother Allison Jean, a former government official of St. Lucia, likewise cited the clear racism behind her son's murder in an interview, calmly arguing a white man would not have met the same grim fate. “Botham loved God. Botham loved you. Botham loved mankind," she said. "God loves us all the same, and this has to stop."