Cop charged with manslaughter in death of Black neighbor
Carol Ozemhoya | OW Contributor | 9/10/2018, 10:42 a.m.
Texas law enforcement officials Sunday arrested a white Dallas police officer in connection with a manslaughter warrant after she fatally shot one of her neighbors, a Black man, in his apartment last week, reports USA Today. The Associated Press, citing a news release from the Texas Department of Public Safety, said Amber Guyger was booked in the Kaufman County Jail. She was expected to post a $300,000 bond and be released. The Dallas Police Department on Friday turned over the case to the Texas Rangers, a law enforcement division within the state public safety unit, citing the need for transparency in the investigation. The 30-year-old Guyger fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean on Thursday. Lawyers for Jean's family had been calling for Guyger's arrest, saying the fact that she had remained free days after the shooting showed she was receiving favorable treatment. “Police say Guyger, a four-year veteran of the force, told investigators she was returning home from her shift Thursday night and accidentally entered Jean's apartment, apparently thinking it was her own. Guyger believed Jean was an intruder and shot him, police said. “Right now, there are more questions than answers,” Police Chief Renee Hall said. “We understand the concerns of the community. That is why we are working as vigorously and meticulously as we can to ensure the integrity of the case and the department is upheld.” In a Sunday night statement, Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings praised Hall's decision to call in the Rangers “to handle the investigation to ensure there was no appearance of bias.” Rawlings said, “Please continue to pray for the family of Botham Jean tonight and in the weeks and months ahead.” Guyger also shot another man last year, according to court documents. In May 2017, Guyger was called to assist another officer searching for a suspect. An affidavit indicates a man identified as Uvaldo Perez got out of a car and became combative with Guyger and another officer. A struggle began and Guyger fired her Taser at Perez, who wrested the weapon away from her. Guyger then drew her gun and shot Perez in the abdomen, the affidavit says. Guyger was not charged in that case. Jean's family has been demanding charges against Guyger in Jean's death. Guyger has been placed on paid administrative leave. Hall announced Friday that investigators were preparing a warrant for a manslaughter charge. A day later, after turning over the case, she said the Rangers had asked her to hold off on the charges. The Rangers, she said, had interviewed Guyger and wanted to further investigate information obtained from her. “She took my life away, like my very own life,” said Jean’s mother, Allison. “She has to face whatever the law says. The very Bible says to render to Caesar that which is Caesar so if Caesar says to pay a penalty for a life, then she has to pay.”