Police Accused of Trying to Smear Man Slain in His Home by Dallas Officer
Law enforcement has searched the Dallas home of a man killed last week by Police Officer Amber Guyger, who shot him in his own apartment.
Guyger, a four-year member of the Dallas Police Department who lives in the same building, says she confronted Botham Shem Jean when she attempted to enter an apartment she erroneously thought was her own.
The warrant was aimed at finding “any contraband, such as narcotics, and other items that may have been used in criminal offenses.” Police publicized that they found 10.4 grams of marijuana during the Sept. 8 search.
“The warrant seems to only be designed for one particular purpose, and that is to smear the victim,” Lee Merritt, a civil rights lawyer and attorney for the Jean family, told NBC News.
“They went in with the intent to look for some sort of criminal justification for the victim,” he told USA Today. “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.”
“This is nothing but a disgusting attempt to assassinate the character of a wonderful young man,” said Ben Crump, another attorney for the Jean family.
“They began their investigation into HIS MURDER by searching through HIS belongings,” activist Shaun King tweeted.
Can't stop thinking about this.
A timely reminder that, while marijuana is now a million dollar industry for the some, it's still used — even in death — to smear others https://t.co/7kUgzMWIMB
— Astead (@AsteadWesley) September 14, 2018
How in God's name is that relevant or newsworthy? https://t.co/G7EIPpjua8
— Jonathan Swan (@jonathanvswan) September 13, 2018
Days after the killing, Guyger was arrested and charged with manslaughter, and on Sept. 9 she was released on $300,000 bail. The officer was placed on leave from the police department but not fired.
Merritt said “most citizens would have been charged” on the night that such a shooting occurred.
In May of 2017, Guyger wounded a man while on duty.
Jean, 26, a native of St. Lucia, worked as a risk assurance associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas.
“She took away my soul, she took away everything,” the shooting victim’s mother, Allie Jean, said of Guyger. “He didn’t deserve to die like that.”