Lawyer: Publicizing marijuana found in home of Black man killed by Dallas cop is a “smear”
Last week, a white Dallas police officer, 30-year-old Amber Guyger, fatally shot her Black neighbor, 26-year-old Botham Jean, in his own apartment. She later claimed she had been drunk, mistook the apartment as her own, and killed Jean thinking he was the intruder. As the fatal incident reignites a conversation on police brutality and Colin Kaepernick’s protests, it seems Dallas police are working to discredit Jean’s reputation.
Neighbors dispute Guyger’s account in the police affidavit, written by Officer David L. Armstong of the Texas Rangers. They say they heard her knocking on his door, demanding to be let in. This is also not Guyger’s first shooting incident. Last year, she shot a man after she said he grabbed at her taser.
Guyger’s sworn affidavit and the search warrant for Jean’s apartment also contradict each other as to where Jean was standing. Guyger said in the affidavit that Jean “confronted” her at the door, while in the search warrant she said she saw a “large silhouette” across her.
Lee Merritt, an attorney who represents Botham Jean’s family, said that police investigators immeadiately started to discredit the victim by seeking evidence that would tarnish his public image, even though he is dead. A police affidavit shows officers seizing marijuana and a marijuana grinder.
Merritt states, “They immediately began looking to smear him.”
Many argue this is another example of dehumanizing Black people by discrediting their reputation after they have been shot by a white police officer.
Guyger is charged with manslaughter, but is free on a $300,000 bail.