Is this is déjà vu all over again?
The Dallas Police Department announced on Tuesday it had made an arrest in the murder of Joshua Brown, a key witness in Amber Guyger‘s murder trial. That was the good news. But the bad news is that the Dallas Police Department is now trying to criminalize Brown after his death, much in the same way it did to Botham Jean following his execution by Guyger, a former Dallas police officer.
Dallas cops said during a press conference that Jacquerious Mitchell, a 20-year-old Black man who was arrested for Brown’s murder, told them he and two other men who remained at large traveled from Louisiana to Dallas “to purchase drugs from Brown.” When the alleged drug deal reportedly turned physical for whatever undisclosed reason, police said Mitchell claimed Brown shot him in the chest. That was when police claimed that Mitchell said Brown was shot twice in the chest by Thaddeous Green, a 22-year-old who police said they were still searching for as of Tuesday afternoon.
Mitchell, who cops said will be charged with capital murder, was taken to a local hospital following the shooting of Brown on Friday, where he was placed into police custody. Michael Mitchell, a 32-year-old who police said was the driver of the car the suspects were in, was also still at large, police said Tuesday.
The entire scenario bore staggering similarities to the police investigation into the murder of Botham Jean. In that instance, cops just so happened to leak information about marijuana being found in Jean’s apartment, which they said smelled of the drug at the time Amber Guyger stormed into his apartment and shot him dead Sept. 6, 2018.
That information from Dallas PD prompted local news outlets to run with that narrative and sully the outstanding reputation of an upstanding citizen that Jean enjoyed in life. “This is how you lynch a dead Black man,” as cultural critic and iOne Digital senior writer David Dennis Jr. put it succinctly.
Of course, police failed to present any proof of any alleged drug deal (aside from cops’ claim that they “confiscated 12 pounds of marijuana, 149 grams of THC cartridges and $4,157 in cash from Brown’s apartment). It was also unclear why Brown, fresh off of the witness stand during a high profile murder trial that was live-streamed and televised around the country and world, would decide to take part in a drug deal while his name and face were so readily recognizable. Dallas police, conveniently, did not address any of that.
One of the main facts established during Amber Guyger’s murder trial was how duplicitous the Dallas Police Department was in its subsequent investigation of Jean’s killing. Many members of the department, as well as the Dallas Police Union, were accused of staging an elaborate coverup to protect Guyger. The conventional line of thinking likely was that if Jean looks bad, perhaps Guyger will look more sympathetic in front of a jury.
That clearly didn’t happen. However, Brown was expected to testify at the civil trial being brought against the city of Dallas and the Dallas Police Department. With the elimination of Brown’s witness testimony that many people credit for Guyger’s conviction, the Dallas Police Department now has a better chance of defending itself in court whenever that civil suit begins.
Dallas Mayor Eric Johnson cautioned anyone from jumping to any conclusions.
“I am grateful that our detectives have taken the initial steps necessary to bring closure to this case,” Johnson said in a brief statement emailed to the media. “I want to thank everyone who demonstrated patience and responsibly reserved their judgment while the Dallas Police Department gathered the facts regarding the death of Joshua Brown. I urge anyone with additional information about this case to come forward.”
Because of the above, many people took to social media to demand Brown’s death be investigated by anyone other than the Dallas Police Department. Those demands went ignored as Dallas PD stayed on the case. They were renewed on Tuesday by Brown’s family, who requested that the Dallas Police Department recuse itself from the case because of the obvious conflicts of interest.
NBC News reported that police made sure to point out during the press conference that they said Brown’s murder was not connected to Guyger’s murder trial.
Considering all of the above, could any of this be a coincidence? You be the judge.