Amber Guyger‘s aunt wants people to believe that her niece didn’t see color or race when she shot and killed Botham Jean in his own home last year, according to a new op-ed she wrote. However, Guyger’s aunt failed to mention how the Dallas Police Department seemed to do everything within its power to criminalize Jean after his death.
But it was the assertion by Nancy Bishop that Jean’s killing was not “a form of lynching” that may have rubbed some readers the wrong way. She said the “inflammatory comparison” makes her “shudder,” but it was unclear if she had the same feelings when (if?) she learned how Dallas police seemed to follow the racist playbook of how to lynch a dead Black man.
She was reacting to a Dallas Morning News news report published in May that quoted a Black activist who used the word “lynching” to describe Jean’s death.
“What happened the night of Sept. 6, 2018, was different from other incidents that drew national attention when white police officers killed Michael Brown, Walter Lamar Scott, Stephon Clark and other black men,” Guyger’s aunt wrote in the Dallas Morning News.
But Bishop did not finish that thought and write about what happened after those other instances of high-profile police shootings of unarmed Black men — each of their reputations was sullied by police. The aftermath of Jean’s killing by Guyger was no exception when police tried to center the narrative on the irrelevant small amount of marijuana allegedly found in his apartment, which the off-duty officer entered under the implausible scenario that she mistook her home for his. The implication was that Jean was a criminal and therefore, somehow, may have deserved to die.
And while Jean was not lynched in the dictionary definition of the term, he was certainly lynched by police in the media when he couldn’t even defend himself because a Dallas police officer illegally entered his home and shit him to death.
The apparent preferential treatment toward Guyger, who has been freed on bail, has continued by delaying the trial date and leaking confidential evidence, such as her 911 call, perhaps in an effort to sway potentially sympathetic jurors.
The op-ed from Guyger’s aunt stood in sharp contrast to sentiments from Jean’s family, who has called the former cop a “murderer.”
David Dennis Jr. summed up the situation quite nicely when he wrote about it for NewsOne.
“While lynchings had traditionally used trumped-up crimes to justify subsequent murders, Botham Jean, and those like him, face bogus crimes to justify their murders after the fact,” Denis wrote. “Remember how the New York Times said that Michael Brown was “no angel” after he was murdered, citing his heinous crimes of … stealing cigars, drinking and cursing in rap songs? After Trayvon Martin was killed, social media was flooded with images of a scowling teenager who “looked” threatening enough to be justifiably killed?”