On Sept. 6, it will make a year since Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own apartment. The trial was supposed to begin Aug. 12 but now it has been delayed because her lawyers need to “adequately prepare.”
CBS reported, “Attorneys for Amber Guyger argued that their involvement in a previously scheduled trial with another client, that could run into the month of August, would impair their ability to ‘adequately prepare’ their defendant’s case.”
Now, the trial has been pushed to Sept. 23 — well past the year-mark since Jean’s death. This is a convenient development, considering if the tables were turned, Jean shooting Guyger because he was exhausted from work, there would have already been a trial or he would at least be in jail while waiting for trial.
In addition, there are unconfirmed reports that although Guyger was supposedly fired from the Dallas Police Department, her lawyers were allegedly being paid through the Dallas Police Association.
On Dec. 1, a grand jury finally indicted the former police officer with murder for killing Jean. She was booked into the Mesquite Jail and released way too quickly on a $200,000 bond.
Guyger claimed on Sept. 6, 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.
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.