The lawyers for a killer cop in Dallas who shot an innocent and unarmed Black man after she illegally entered his own home have filed a motion to move the murder trial elsewhere, according to a new report. Defense attorneys for Amber Guyger, who killed Botham Shem Jean last September under the most implausible of purported scenarios, filed a motion on Monday claiming in part that “[t]he case has been infamous and not merely notorious,” local news outlet WFAA reported.
“Almost immediately after the incident, acting as an echo-chamber the size of the Grand Canyon, the media immediately began reverberating the false-narrative that merely because defendant is white and Mr. Jean was black, the incident must have been racial in nature,” Guyger’s lawyers wrote in the motion.
It was the latest tactic from a defense team that appeared to have its back up against the wall with a decreasing number of options in the high-profile police shooting.
The motion was filed on the heels of the prosecution filing its own motion last week to suppress all evidence ahead of the trial, which has already been rescheduled once at the defense attorneys’ request. Prosecutors filed a “motion in limine” last week that would, according to Fox 4, would ask “the opposing side to not mention or allude to some fact or evidence until the judge has determined whether that fact or evidence is admissible.”
That last part was especially important because of a key witness reportedly benefitting monetarily from the case in addition to Guyger’s 911 call immediately after the shooting leaking to the media. They were among key reasons why defense attorneys said Guyger’s can’t get a fair trial in Dallas.
It was unclear when Judge Tammy Kemp, a Black woman presiding over the trial, would rule on the motions.
Guyger’s defense attorneys successfully argued for the murder trial’s delay because “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.”
The trial has now been pushed back from August to Sept. 23, well past the year-mark since Jean’s death.
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.