Last year, off-duty Dallas, Tx. police officer Amber Guyger walked into Botham Jean’s apartment, thinking it was her own, and shot him as he sat on his couch, unarmed, eating ice cream. After an emotional trial, she was sentenced to 10 years in prison, although she could have faced up to 99 years, the Washington Post reported.
Guyger’s sentence was met with a mixed response. Some felt it was a victory in a city like Dallas, where there is a long history of police violence against people of color with little repercussions for law enforcement. But others described it as “a slap in the face” because prosecutors had asked for no less than 28 years in prison.
Legal experts told the Post that Guyger’s lack of a criminal record and her career as a police officer may have played a role in the lesser punishment.
“I would imagine with her being a police officer, even though they found her guilty, there would probably be some individuals on the jury who might be sympathetic to her,” Kenneth Williams, a professor at South Texas College of Law in Houston, told the Post.
Related Article: New Immigration Plan Would Be ‘Merit-Based,’ Dreamers Not Mentioned
The conclusion of the trial was very emotional. Jean’s brother, Brandt, hugged Guyger and said that he forgave her, speaking directly to her.
“I love you as a person and I don’t wish anything bad on you,” Brandt Jean told had told Guyger from the stand.
However, #Only10 quickly began trending on Twitter as people expressed their frustration over what some saw as a light sentence for Guyger.
America wants us to have faith in their justice system when that system keeps failing us over and over again. That justice system don’t love nobody who got some color on them. #ONLY10
— Josh Graves (@Wally_West59) October 3, 2019
“America wants us to have faith in their justice system when that system keeps failing us over and over again. That justice system don’t love nobody who got some color on them. #ONLY10”