Did Dallas, Texas police officer Amber Guyger accidentally park on the wrong floor of her South Side Flats apartment complex and enter Botham Jean’s unlocked apartment assuming it was hers?
Did Guyger struggle with the lock before Jean opened the door for her?
Did Guyger push Jean’s ajar door open, see the 26-year-old Black man’s silhouette across the room, and issue ignored verbal commands?
Could Amber Guyger and Botham Jean actually have been involved in a relationship?
Whichever scenario is accurate, on September 6, officer Amber Guyger shot and killed Botham Jean in his own apartment.
Weeks after Jean’s death, puzzling questions still linger, one of which ponders whether Botham Jean’s character is being attacked in an attempt to shift the narrative away from another police shooting of an unarmed Black individual.
Lee Merritt, the Jean family attorney, argues police “immediately began looking to smear [Jean]” after a police search warrant issued hours after the shooting found 10.4 grams of marijuana in Jean’s apartment.
Merritt claims the warrant indicates investigators were deliberately looking for drug paraphernalia.
“They went in with the intent to look for some sort of criminal justification for the victim. It’s a pattern that we’ve seen before…we have a cop who clearly did something wrong. And instead of investigating the homicide — instead of going into her apartment and seeing what they can find, instead of collecting evidence relevant for the homicide investigation — they went out specifically looking for ways to tarnish the image of this young man.”
“You know, we’re still dealing in an America where black people are being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways: Driving while black, walking while black — and now, we have to add living while black.”
Calling Guyger’s arrest affidavit into question, Merritt told CNN last week:
“Much of the affidavit doesn’t comport with common sense. Certain statements are demonstratively false.”
Some things causing some confusion are particular items found in the apartment.
In addition to marijuana, Dallas police documents list, among other items, two fired cartridge casings, a backpack containing police paperwork, a ballistic vest labeled “POLICE,” and two radio frequency identification (RFID) keys.
To whom these items belong, the search warrant does not state.
According to witnesses, officer Guyger was heard knocking on Jean’s door, yelling “Let me in!”
Guyger, however, contends she entered what she thought was her empty apartment and confronted Guyger at the door, assuming he was burglarizing her.
The arrest warrant, however, describes Jean as being “across the room,” not at the door.
Yesterday, Dallas Police Chief, U. Reneé Hall, stated that, despite being charged with manslaughter, officer Guyger has not yet faced disciplinary action.
Officer Guyger remains on paid administrative leave.
Image credit: The Texas Tribune