Guyger, Jean, shooting
Victim of the 2018 shooting, Botham Jean was in his apartment when former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger entered his apartment after allegedly thinking it was her own and that he was a burglar. Guyger's murder trial began Sept. 23. (Photo via Facebook)

Trial of Amber Guyger, Former Police Officer Accused of Killing Unarmed Black Man Botham Jean in His Own Apartment, Begins

A former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger began her trial Sept. 23 for the 2018 killing of an unarmed Black man, Botham Jean, after she allegedly mistook his apartment for her own, believed he was a burglar and shot him.

Guyger is white. She is claiming self-defense. A prosecutor opened by telling a jury Guyger fired shots without making any effort to de-escalate the situation. The defense attorney said the former officer made “innocent mistakes” and genuinely feared for her life.

However, even before both sides made their statements, the defense requested the judge declare a mistrial, because Dallas County District Attorney John Creuzot spoke about the case in a television interview that aired the night before. He violated a gag order by speaking to the media, but the judge overruled the motion after watching the interview and asking jurors privately whether they saw it.

The jury will be sequestered for the entire trial, which may last up to two weeks, ABC News reports.

The defense also requested a change of venue for the trial, saying Guyger could not get a fair trial in Dallas County because of the publicity surrounding the case, but a judge rejected the request.

According to Dallas County District Attorney Jason Hermus, Jean, the 26-year-old victim, was sitting in his apartment eating ice cream and watching TV when Guyger came in. He allegedly confronted her, prompting her to fire twice into his chest with no attempt at de-escalating the situation. Hermus said as a police officer, she was trained to handle burglary situations by retreating, taking cover and calling for backup.

Guyger’s apartment was located directly below Jean’s. Hermus said Guyger not only walked past several apartments without realizing she was on the wrong floor, but also did not notice she was standing on a red mat, which she did not have outside of her own apartment.

The defense attorney Robert Rogers argued Guyger was exhausted from working 40 hours in four days and a long overtime shift during which she helped a SWAT team arrest three robbers. Rogers also said the apartment complex had floors and rooms that were not clearly numbered. Additionally, he said, she was aware of the high crime rates in the area and the recent break-ins and car burglaries that had been happening in her apartment complex. Rogers said within seconds, Jean was within 13 feet of Guyger, giving her no time to retreat and making her feel genuinely afraid for her life.

Rogers said Guyger called 911 and repeated at least 22 times that she thought she was in her own apartment.

Jean’s family remembered him as a beloved friend, a dedicated Christian, a good worker and a talented singer. They held a prayer vigil on the courtroom steps prior to entering. The family is also bringing a civil suit against the city of Dallas.

Lee Merritt, who is representing the family in the civil case, told ABC that cases involving law enforcement officers are often difficult to find truly impartial juries for because people automatically assume police are more credible.

Guyger was fired from the Dallas Police Department just two weeks after the shooting occurred. She was arrested and charged with manslaughter at first, but a Dallas County grand jury later indicted her on one count of murder.

Related Story: Ex-Dallas Cop Amber Guyger Indicted for Murder in Botham Jean Shooting

Latest News

Justice for Breonna not served; The essential rule of politics; Teen serves two months in jail for not doing homework; and More

Justice for Breonna not served as grand jury indicted officer who shot her with wanton endangerment — but not murder. “Outrageous and offensive.” Those were  by attorney to the family, Ben Crump to describe the grand jury’s decision in the March 13 fatal police shooting of 26-year-old Breonna Taylor. While…

IBM, EEOC, age

EEOC Unearths Years of Intentional Age Discrimination within IBM

After a long investigation, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) has revealed that IBM leaders had directed managers to replace older workers with younger ones. Between 2013 and 2018, nearly 86% of those considered for layoffs within the organization were older employees over the age of 40. The investigation showed…

Breathe March in Globe Park, New York, USA - 12 Sep 2020

Cities under attack from the Justice Department; Louisville bracing for the Breonna Taylor murder charge; Twitter reveals its racist side; and More

Justice department attacks three U.S. cities, declaring them anarchist zones — despite most of the protests that took place in each city being peaceful marches in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. In a move designed to pull federal funding from New York City, Seattle and Portland, OR, the…

ginsburg, supreme, court

The Lasting Legacy of Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Plus the Four Biggest Issues Currently at Stake Following Her Death

Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg, who served on the nation’s highest court for 27 years, passed away Friday, Sept. 18 at the age 87. “As the second woman ever to sit on the highest court in the land, she was a warrior for gender equality — someone who believed…

Abbott Receives CE Mark for Next-Generation Mitraclip Heart Valve Repair Device to Treat Mitral

Originally posted on Abbott.com – CE Mark for MitraClip G4 offers physicians an innovative next-generation system with more options for mitral valve repair using proven clip-based technology – MitraClip is a first-of-its-kind transcatheter mitral valve therapy, now on its fourth generation, improving further on MitraClip’s history as a safe and…

Cox Crews Mobilized to Reconnect Gulf Coast

Originally published on Cox.com Cox has mobilized its employees with support from outside of the Gulf Coast area to begin assessing damage and restoring service outages caused by Hurricane Sally. In times like this, we understand it is important to stay connected and we want our services to help you…

BASF Invests Into Pyrum as Part of its ChemCyclingTM Project

Originally published on BASF.com  Pyrolysis oil from waste tires as additional raw material source next to oil from mixed plastic waste Investment will support construction of additional production capacities for pyrolysis oil Milestone in establishing a circular economy for post-consumer plastic waste Pyrolysis oil will partly replace fossil feedstock and…