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Former Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger, has been found guilty of shooting and killing her unarmed black neighbor, Botham Shem Jean, 26, in his own apartment. Guyger said she accidentally went to the wrong floor of the apartment complex, entering the unit directly above hers, thinking it was her apartment, claiming she was acting in self-defense, she shot and killed the man in the apartment.
Guyger testified that she was returning home from a long day of work when she accidentally parked on the wrong floor of the complex’s garage. As Guyger walked down the fourth-floor hallway, she said, she did not notice that anything was amiss, including the red doormat outside Mr. Jean’s door. The door strike plate was defective and not fully latched closed, according to the defense, allowing Ms. Guyger to enter using her own keys.
When Guyger saw someone inside, she said, she drew her gun and shouted, “Let me see your hands.” She testified that Mr. Jean was walking toward her and shouting “Hey” when she fired her weapon twice, striking Mr. Jean once in the torso and killing him. “I was scared he was going to kill me,” she told jurors.
Her testimony conflicted with prosecution witnesses, including neighbors who said they did not hear verbal commands and a medical examiner, who testified that the bullet had a downward trajectory, indicating that Mr. Jean was either getting up from a seated position or was “in a cowering position” when he was shot.
On day 2, the jury rejected her story and found her guilty of murder. Guyger, 31, now faces between 5-99 years in prison.
After the judge read the verdict aloud in the courtroom, Mr. Jean’s sister sobbed. His mother raised her fists in the air and looked upward. “God is good,” she said.
Guyger was not initially arrested after the shooting. It was several days later when she was charged with manslaughter. After weeks of community tension, a grand jury charged her with murder. Of the 12 jurors and four alternates, seven were African-American, four appear to be white and five are of other races and ethnicities.
“For so many unarmed black and brown human beings across America, this verdict today is for them,” said Benjamin Crump, a civil rights lawyer for the family.
Source: New York Times