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New Developments in Dallas Shooting: Arrest Warrant Affidavit Released
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New Developments in Dallas Shooting: Arrest Warrant Affidavit Released

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DALLAS, TEXAS – September, 13

The arrest affidavit of a white Dallas police officer who shot and killed a black neighbor in his own home — after entering an apartment unit she believed was her own — sheds new light on the case before headed to a grand jury that may deliver more serious charges than manslaughter.

Police in Texas arrested a Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, 30, who entered the wrong apartment, having allegedly mistaken it for her own home, and fatally shot a young man. She was taken into custody on Sunday on a manslaughter warrant and booked in the Kaufman County Jail, The Associated Press reported. She was later released after posting a $300,000 bond.

The incident took place on September the 6th. Guyger, a five-year veteran on the force, had completed a 12-hour shift and was in uniform but off-duty when she entered the South Side Flats apartment complex at about 10 p.m. local time. Upon entering Jean’s apartment, she “fired her weapon striking the victim,” police said in a Friday press conference.

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26-year-old Botham Shem Jean, killed by Guyger, was a native of the Caribbean island of St. Lucia, a 2016 graduate of Harding University ― a private Christian institution in Arkansas ― and employed by Price Waterhouse Cooper in Dallas, according to Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall. On his LinkedIn profile, Jean described himself as an “aspiring young professional”. When Guyger rushed into his own apartment, Botham was unarmed. He later died at a hospital.

There may not be much hard evidence on the shooting, but many Americans still remember the numerous unarmed young black men shot by white officers in the US. As one of the attorneys the Jean family has hired, Benjamin Crump, told the press, “We’re still dealing in America with black people being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways, driving while black, walking while black and now we have to add living while black.” Although there are still far more questions than answers about the September 6 shooting , the Guyger's arrest affadavit points to contradictions between the Officer’s words and the reality of the case.

According to the affidavit, she tried to use her key, which has an electronic chip, to enter.

Nevertheless, an attorney for Jean's family, Lee Merritt, said at a news conference Monday evening that two independent witnesses have told him they heard knocking on the door in the hallway before the shooting. He said one witness reported hearing a woman's voice saying, “Let me in! Let me in!” Then they heard gunshots, after which one witness said she heard a man's voice say, “Oh my God! Why did you do that? Merritt said he believes those were Jean’s last words. Another lawyer for the family, Benjamin Crump, said the affidavit “is very self-serving.”

A Dallas police officer, who spoke with NBC 5 under the condition of anonymity, said Guyger had to struggle with the lock when she went to what she thought was her door. “Then she put down several things she was holding and continued to fight with the key when the resident swung open the door and startled her,” he said.

The affidavit also says both apartments were identical or extremely similar in terms of layout. Yet some people think otherwise.

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When the officer saw a figure in the darkness, she concluded that her apartment was being burglarized and gave verbal commands to the figure, who allegedly ignored them. She then drew her weapon and fired twice, the affidavit said.

The investigation into the recent shooting has been handed over to the Texas Rangers, the state law enforcement agency, to “eliminate the appearance of any potential bias,” the police department said in a statement Saturday.

“At the very early stages of this investigation – initial indications were that they were what we consider circumstances of an officer-involved shooting,” Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said. “However, as we continued this investigation it became clear that we were dealing with what appears to be a much different and very unique situation.”

“The grand jury will be that entity that will make the final decision in terms of the charge or charges that will come out of this case,” Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson told reporters. “We prepare to present a thorough case to the grand jury of Dallas County, so that the right decision can be made in this case.” The district attorney will have the option of presenting more serious charges to the grand jury.

Jean remembered as a loving son and brother

Benjamin Crump said Jean was “living, doing everything that you want a young person to do.”

“He had no criminal history. He was an amazing student. He was an amazing citizen. He loved God.”

Friends and family gathered at a vigil at Jean's church, the Dallas West Church of Christ on Saturday, CNN affiliate CBS 11 reported. He was remembered by classmates, coworkers and family members as a loving son and brother, a hard worker and a powerful singer who enjoyed helping others.

“We’re all deeply grieved,” the university wrote in a statement obtained by The Dallas Morning News. “He was just one of those people who really stood out, with his voice and his leadership.” “On behalf of the Dallas Police Department, we are continuing to pray for Mr. Jean’s family, and ask that the community remain patient as this investigation is conducted,” said Hall.

The dead man’s mother, Allie Jean, told NBC News she couldn’t understand how the officer mistakenly killed her son. “Somebody has to be crazy not to realize that they walked into the wrong apartment,” she said. “He’s a bachelor. Things are different inside and if you try your key and it doesn’t work, that should make you realize you’re at the wrong apartment. Every door for each apartment is also numbered.”

She also wondered whether race could have been a factor. “If it was a white man, would it have been different? Would she have reacted differently?”

Many questions remain about what led Guyger to shoot Jean. The shooting is still under investigation by the Texas Rangers and the Dallas District Attorney’s Office.

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On Saturday, friends and family gathered at the Dallas West Church of Christ to remember Jean.

His uncle, Ignatius Jean, said the killing has devastated the family and left it searching for answers. “You want to think it’s fiction ... and you have to grapple with the reality,” he said.

Cedric L. Alexander is a CNN law enforcement analyst, has recently written about what happened: “Americans have learned to assume that racial profiling pulls the trigger whenever an officer – white or black – shoots a person of color. The sooner police agencies are able to credibly persuade the public, especially in minority communities, to change their assumptions, the sooner we can begin to rebuild the trust the police and the people so urgently need. In the meantime, whatever we learn about the death of Botham Shem Jean, one essential truth will remain: a life, young and promising and loved, was lost.”

Author: USA Really