October 1, 2019 – In Breaking News – The Washington Post
The former Dallas police officer who killed her unarmed black neighbor in his apartment was found guilty of murder Tuesday — a rare conviction in a high-profile police shooting and a verdict that civil rights activists heralded as a victory for police accountability.
Amber Guyger said she thought she was entering her own unit, one floor below, when she encountered 26-year-old Botham Jean last year and mistook him for a burglar.
Guyger, an off-duty officer who had just finished a long shift, fired two shots at Jean, who had been watching TV and eating ice cream.
After a dramatic seven-day trial, the jury rejected Guyger’s self-defense claim and delivered what Jean family attorneys called a historic decision.
(Former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has been found guilty of murder. Guyger was indicted after fatally shooting her unarmed neighbor, Botham Jean, in his apartment, which she said she mistook as hers. Courtesy of CNN and YouTube. Posted on Oct 1, 2019.)
“This is a huge victory not only for the family of Botham Jean but, as his mother told me a moment ago, this is a victory for black people in America,” civil rights lawyer Lee Merritt said after the verdict was returned.
“It’s a signal that the tide is going to change here; police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions and we believe that will change policing culture all over the world.”
Guyger faces a sentence of five years to life in prison, without the possibility of probation. The sentencing phase of the trial will continue on Wednesday.
Former Dallas police officer asks for forgiveness at murder trial
The shooting, which occurred the evening of Sept. 6, 2018, touched off days of protests in Dallas and demands for police reform. Many saw it as part of a pattern of police wielding deadly force disproportionately against people of color.
But the unusual facts of the case made it unique among fatal shootings involving police, most of which are never even prosecuted.
(Amber Guyger took the witness stand, saying she tried to keep her neighbor alive after mistaking his apartment for hers; the prosecution countered, saying she had not done enough. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Oct 1, 2019.)
Guyger, who is white, offered a tearful defense and repeated apologies on the stand Friday.
“I shot an innocent man,” she said during her testimony, the first time the public had heard from her since the shooting.
Guyger’s lawyers have said the 31-year-old, who was fired from the police force shortly after she killed Jean, was exhausted and scared when she heard someone inside the unit she thought was her own.
She opened the door, saw a “silhouette figure” in the dark apartment and feared for her life, they said.
(Newly-released video shows Dallas police officers scrambling to reach the fourth floor of an apartment building where former officer Amber Guyger shot Botham Jean, 26, inside his apartment. Courtesy of ABC News and YouTube. Posted on Sep 25, 2019.)
Continue reading… Amber Guyger, police officer who shot a man to death in his apartment, found guilty of murder
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