The Dallas police officer who killed Botham Jean, a 26-year-old black man, after entering his apartment earlier this month was fired from her position on Monday.
On Monday, the Dallas Police Department released a statement announcing that Amber Guyger had been terminated from her position. “An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, Officer Guyger engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter,” the agency noted. “Officer Guyger was terminated for her actions.”
September 24, 2018
The Monday statement notes that Guyger does have the right to appeal the termination.
The decision comes after weeks of protests and demands from Jean’s family that Guyger be fired from the police force for the shooting. “She should not be on the payroll for the city of Dallas” family attorney Lee Merritt said, pointing to a 2017 shooting that Guyger was also involved in as additional proof that she should be removed.
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall did not immediately heed calls to terminate Guyger, telling an audience at a September 18 event that she could not fire her “because there are both local, state and federal laws that prohibit me from taking action.” It was unclear what laws she was referring to when she made that statement. On September 20 Hall issued a statement saying that firing Guyger might interfere with a criminal investigation, something that legal experts disagreed with.
The termination does not come with new details about the Jean shooting
Guyger, who had served as a Dallas Police officer since November 2013, shot Jean on September 6. According to her account, when she arrived home to the South Side Flats apartment building that night, she didn’t realize she had gotten out on the wrong floor, and that the apartment she was in was not, in fact, hers. Seeing a “large silhouette” in the dark apartment, she said she thought she was being burglarized. So she shot, hitting Jean in the chest. When she turned on the lights in the apartment, she realized her mistake.
The family of the 26-year-old Jean continues to dispute this, arguing that Guyger’s story doesn’t add up, and that she should have noticed details alerting her to being in the wrong apartment, like a different apartment number and a red doormat outside Jean’s door. Official documents in the case have also sparked confusion, due to a September 7 arrest warrant and September 9 arrest affidavit having very different accounts of the shooting.
Guyger has been charged with manslaughter, although the Dallas district attorney has not ruled out more serious charges. The case has been handed over to the Texas Rangers, which continues to investigate a number of things, including the records of the electronic locks on Jean’s and Guyger’s front doors.