A white Dallas police officer who says she mistook her black neighbor’s apartment for her own when she fatally shot him has been arrested on a manslaughter charge.
It’s worth bearing in mind that she’s only been arrested after several days of public outrage at her having been initially merely suspended. I imagine if any non-police officer walked into someone else’s house and shot the owner dead, they’d be treated rather differently.
Lawyers for the family questioned why it took three days for Guyger to be charged. One said Guyger should have been in handcuffs the night of the shooting, but she was only booked on a manslaughter charge Sunday night.
Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings says an off-duty police officer charged in the shooting death of a neighbor had parked on the wrong floor of their apartment complex’s parking garage.
Rawlings said Sunday that the 30-year-old officer , Amber Guyger, drove to her apartment complex Thursday night after her shift. Authorities say the four-year veteran of the police force told officers after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean that she had mistaken his apartment for her own.
Was she drunk? Was she high? We don’t know, because the police aren’t saying. Got to protect their own, you see.
Authorities say a Dallas police officer said she shot a neighbor whose home she mistakenly entered last week after he ignored her “verbal commands.”
Why should a man going about his business in his own home react to the “verbal commands” of a policewoman who has no business being there?
David Armstrong of the Texas Rangers wrote in an arrest affidavit released Monday that Officer Amber Guyger said she didn’t realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean and went into the hallway to check the address.
Again, it must be asked: how drunk was she?
An investigator says a Dallas police officer who shot and killed her neighbor after mistaking his apartment for her own said that when she inserted her key in his door, it opened because it had been slightly ajar.
The affidavit says Guyger was on the phone with 911 reporting the shooting when she turned on the apartment lights and discovered she was in the wrong apartment. It says Jean’s apartment was the one right above Guyger’s and the apartment layouts and exterior hallways were nearly identical.
There is an old Soviet film called Ironiya Sudbii, which is based around a man from Moscow getting completely drunk and dumped on a plane to Saint Petersburg. When he arrives he assumes he’s still in Moscow, takes a taxi to his address where he finds an identical building – and an identical apartment whose door can be unlocked by his own key. The owner returns and hilarity ensues but – unlike the story in Dallas – nobody winds up dead.
It’s one thing for police to be heavy-handed when carrying out their duties; they have a difficult job after all, and America is full of violent criminals carrying guns. However, there is absolutely no excuse for a policewoman to mistake a neighbour’s apartment for her own and shoot the occupant dead. She needs the book thrown at her, just the same as if she was an ordinary citizen. The fact the police are dragging their feet and seemingly protecting her while an innocent man lies in the morgue is indicative of how badly things need to change.