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Tuesday, September 18, 2018

Activists Say Police Are Not Seriously Investigating the Death of Botham Jean

Botham Shem Jean and Amber Guyger, the police officer who killed him

Botham Shem Jean and Amber Guyger, the police officer who killed him

Dallas, TX — When a white Dallas police officer shot and killed her Black neighbor, investigations should have been comprehensive. However, activists say the police department isn’t thoroughly investigating the case and are even ignoring witness accounts. Having had a long history of racial divisions, this issue with the Dallas Police Department has once again increased the conflict between the Black community and the police.

A few weeks ago, a horrible incident shocked many. Amber Guyger, a white police officer, fatally shot Botham Jean, a Black unarmed man, in his own apartment. The officer claims she accidentally mistook his apartment for her own, which is directly below his. She said she went straight through the open doorway when he saw Jean and thought he was a burglar so she fired shots that killed him.

However, witness statements apparently contradict Guyger’s claims. Lee Merritt, an attorney for Jean’s family said that the witnesses “heard knocking down the hallway followed by a woman’s voice that they believe to be officer Guyger saying, ‘Let me in! Let me in!'” Many are saying that it does not only prove that she was lying when she said the door was open, but that she was also aware it wasn’t her apartment and she intentionally confronted him.

Meanwhile, Merritt retweeted a message from activist Shaun King about the police ignoring the said witness accounts. King tweeted, “A key eyewitness told us today that investigators didn’t take a single note when they interviewed her. Said they never called her back. We asked the DA if they had even heard that this witness existed and the DA said the Texas Rangers never even mentioned the witness.”

King also noted that there were already six witnesses that debunk Guyger’s statements but allegedly none of it was documented.

Another subject of criticism is the police’s alleged special treatment of Guyger. She has stated multiple conflicting versions of the circumstances that led to the shooting. It still took almost three days to have her arrested.

Even though the controversies came on the heels of the conviction of Roy Oliver, a Balch Springs, Texas police officer who shot unarmed Black teenager Jordan Edwards, what’s currently happening in the investigation of Jean’s case seems as though the long history of cops not getting punished for killing Black people continue. And it remains to be alarming to the Black community.

“If she had been arrested like anyone would be, the community would have felt a little more at ease. There’s no story, of the multiple stories she’s told, that should not have prompted an arrest on the spot,” said Edwin Robinson, executive director of the religious-based network Faith in Texas.

Watch the CNN coverage below: