At a town hall meeting where the community voiced concerns about why Amber Guyger is still employed and receiving pay, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said any further disciplinary action would compromise the ongoing investigation of Botham Jean’s death.
Once the department is “assured, an administrative investigation will not impede on the criminal investigation, we will proceed,” Hall said.
Justin Moore, a civil right’s attorney, said that “Chief Hall might not have been well informed on the law.”
According to Dallas PD general order 508, she can circumvent all disciplinary procedures to fire Guyger when it is necessary to preserve the department’s integrity.
“There is nothing that prevents a police chief from firing somebody on the spot or, at least, in launching an internal affairs investigation,” said Moore.
Dallas criminal defense attorney Peter Schulte echoes Moore’s position: “I don’t know if it’s ignorance or being nave, but it doesn’t make any sense legally.”
Hall promised to release copies of the laws. Two officers in Dallas PD have been fired while under investigationAmy Wilburn and Cardan Spencer, both involved in police shootings.
Wilburn shot an unarmed Black man, Kelvion Walker. He had his hands up when she opened shot him in the stomach in 2013. The 12-year veteran was fired weeks after the shooting, and indicted several months later. She plead guilty to a reduced misdemeanor charge after originally being charged with felony aggravated assault,
served 18 months’ probation.
Spencer, who shot Bobby Bennett, a mentally ill man in 2013, was indicted for aggravated assault and plead guilty to a lesser charge of attempted deadly conduct in 2014 and turned over his peace officer license. He was
sentenced to two years probation.
Guyger is still on paid leave, as Botham Jean has been dead for two weeks.
Meanwhile, nine people who protested nonviolently on Sunday have sat in jail longer than Guyger did for killing Botham Jean.
Of those protestors that were arrested, they were charged with a heavier penalty than usual (obstructing a pathway), which requires them to remain in jail until they can appear before a judge.
Protests outside AT&T Stadium before the Dallas Cowboys game and by the South Side Flat apartment building where Botham Jean was killed by Guyger had marchers carrying signs saying, “Indict, Convict”, “Black Votes Matter, and “Remember Botham Shem Jean”, accompanied by a hearse, and caskets representing Jean and another unarmed Black man killed by Texas police, Oshae Terry. They shouted, “No Justice, No Peace.”
Protesters carried two coffins around AT&T Stadium before the Cowboys vs. Giants game. The coffins represent #BothamJean and #OshaeTerry. Two unarmed black men killed by law enforcement. Read more: https://t.co/5OEonv72Rw pic.twitter.com/qYiHIirkm8
Tommy Noel (@TommyNoel) September 16, 2018
“At this point, the protesters’ ordeal has lasted 15 hours,”civil rights attorney Lee Merritt said. “These activists were arrested for blocking an entrance. Amber Guyger was arrested for killing a man and she was released within two hours.”