Last week, an off-duty Dallas police officer shot and killed 26-year-old St. Lucia native Botham Jean after (allegedly) mistakenly entering his apartment and thinking it was her own. A 4-year veteran of the force, Officer Amber Guyger had just ended a 15-hour shift when she claims she accidentally went to the fourth floor of the apartment building where she lives instead of the third.
Finding the door unlocked or ajar, depending which version of her statement you read, Guyger fired when she saw someone moving about in the dark apartment who she later said she believed to be a burglar. She fired twice, hitting Jean once in the chest. He died from his injuries.
Guyger’s story raises many more questions than answers, as the community mourned Jean, who worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas and was known for his volunteerism and charity work. To make matters worse, for some reason after the fatal shooting, Dallas police obtained a search warrant for his apartment. A small amount of marijuana was reportedly turned up, which is now being used in an apparent smear campaign by local authorities working with the local Fox News station to seemingly take the heat off of the Dallas Police Department.
Lee Merritt, an attorney for Jean’s family, says that the search “highlights just sort of the nefarious nature of their investigation.”
“They went in with the intent to look for some sort of criminal justification for the victim,” Merritt said. “It’s a pattern that we’ve seen before … we have a cop who clearly did something wrong. And instead of investigating the homicide — instead of going into her apartment and seeing what they can find, instead of collecting evidence relevant for the homicide investigation — they went out specifically looking for ways to tarnish the image of this young man.”