Dallas police, nearly 48 hours after the fact, finally identified the police officer who shot Botham Jean, a Harding graduate, in his apartment in Dallas Thursday night. But charges have not been filed because Texas Ranges have asked for a delay to pursue unspecified other information in the investigation. Update: Sunday night the officer was charged with manslaughter
Officer Amber Guyger has said she mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment thinking it was her own. Beyond that, little has been disclosed. She is white; he was black. Did race play a role? Does police privilege play a role in a lack of charges in a case where there’s no doubt a man is dead by her action? Such questions are being raised by Jean’s family and attorney.
Guyger, a five-year officer, shot a suspect during an arrest in 2017 but was cleared of wrongdoing.
Some early social media posts — referenced in an earlier comment by a reader here — apparently were mistaken in asserting Jean and Guyger knew each other. WFAA reports:
The man killed by a Dallas police officer at his apartment on Thursday night did not know the officer, and the officer wasn’t in a picture with the victim that has been widely shared on social media, sources with direct knowledge of the investigation confirmed to WFAA on Saturday.
…Contrary to rumors swirling on social media, Jean did not know Guyger, a source with knowledge of the investigation told WFAA. Also, Guyger was not one of the people with Jean in a picture that has been circulating on social media, sources said.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Jean’s family, also said that Jean did not know Guyger, according to family members.