September 24, 2018
The Dallas Police Department on Monday fired an officer who fatally shot her neighbor inside his apartment earlier this month, an episode that gripped the city and led to protests over the killing of an unarmed black man in his own home at the hands of law enforcement.
Amber Guyger, Dallas Officer Who Killed Botham Jean in His Home, Is Fired
The department’s chief, U. Reneé Hall, announced the termination of the officer, Amber R. Guyger, citing her arrest in the killing of Botham Shem Jean, who lived above Ms. Guyger in a Dallas apartment complex. Ms. Guyger, who was off duty, entered Mr. Jean’s apartment the evening of Sept. 6 and fired her service weapon twice, striking him once in the torso.
Amber Guyger, Dallas Officer Who Killed Botham Jean in His Home, Is Fired
Ms. Guyger, 30, was placed on administrative leave immediately after the shooting and charged with manslaughter several days later. Chief Hall faced mounting pressure to fire Ms. Guyger, but she said at a town hall-style meeting last week that state and federal laws prevented her from doing so, without citing specifics. She also argued that taking action could harm the investigation into the death of Mr. Jean, 26.
S. Lee Merritt, a lawyer for the Jean family, said that Chief Hall called on Sunday night to tell them that despite those concerns, she planned to dismiss Ms. Guyger.
During the call, “she had to answer some tough questions specifically about why it took so long,” Mr. Merritt told reporters on Monday, adding that the family saw Ms. Guyger’s firing as a “victory.”
Chief Hall said Monday afternoon that she had waited until the “critical portion” of the investigation was completed, but she did not elaborate. “As a police chief, my job is to ensure the integrity, the highest level of integrity in this criminal investigation, and that is what I did,” Chief Hall said.
Mr. Merritt said that Mr. Jean would be buried on Monday in his home country, St. Lucia.
Tensions have remained high in the nearly three weeks since the killing of Mr. Jean, who graduated from Harding University in Arkansas. Protesters demanding justice have rallied in the streets and disrupted a City Council meeting, while Dallas police officers have said they believe Ms. Guyger’s version of events.
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