On Dec. 1, a grand jury finally indicted former police officer Amber Guyger with murder for killing Botham Jean in his apartment on September 6. On January 8, she made an appearance at the courthouse and it’s the first time she has been seen publicly since the shooting.
According to Dallas News, there was a meeting in the chambers of State District Judge Tammy Kemp with Dallas County prosecutor Jason Hermus and Guyger’s attorneys, Robert Rogers and Toby Shook. Guyger was at the courthouse, but not at the meeting, and made no comment as she left. See below:
At the meeting, Jude Kemp “issued a gag order Tuesday preventing attorneys in the case from speaking publicly about the slaying of Botham Jean,” according to Dallas News.
After being charged with murder on Dec. 1, she was booked into the Mesquite Jail and released way too quickly on a $200,000 bond. She is now free on the streets.
Guyger claimed that following a long day on the job as a Dallas police officer, she implausibly mistook his apartment for her own and, after ordering Jean not to move, shot him twice before realizing the error of her ways. Her story was met with doubt because of a number of factors, especially her assertion that Jean’s door was ajar. Videos posted on social media by neighbors appeared to show that apartment doors in the building shut automatically, which seemed to indicate that Guyger was lying.
In addition to the inconsistencies in her alibis, which have changed several times, Dallas police, of which Guyger was a member for five years before being fired, appeared to be helping to cover up the shooting for their colleague. The department was accused of allowing Guyger enough time to scrub her social media accounts and get her story straight before turning herself in three days after killing Jean. It also gave Guyger enough time to move out of her apartment, which was never searched by police despite five warrants allowing them to do so.
Guyger was ultimately arrested in late September and charged with manslaughter, which many felt was insufficient considering the nature of the shooting.
Murder charges against a police officer are notoriously hard to prosecute. There are roughly 1,000 police shootings every year in the United States, but officers seldom face justice. According to CNN, only 80 cops were arrested on murder or manslaughter charges for on-duty shootings between 2005 and April 2017. However, only 35 percent of those arrests led to convictions in that 12-year period.
Let’s hope Botham Jean gets justice.