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Dallas female police officer yet to be arrested raising questions of race and police deferential treatment

Botham Shem Jean shooting
Botham Shem Jean shooting: Pictured suspected Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger thought to have shot Botham Shem Jean.
 Botham Shem Jean shooting
Botham Shem Jean shooting: Pictured suspected Dallas police officer, Amber Guyger and her shooing victim.

Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger yet to be arrested after Botham Shem Jean shooting as questions of police deferential treatment and racism are asked.

Lawyers for the family of slain St Lucia emigre have expressed reticence over the Dallas Police Department’s apparent reluctance to charge one of its officers after she ‘mistakenly’ entered the man’s apartment and killed him.

Calls to arrest Officer Amber Guyger following Thursday night’s shooting death of Botham Shem Jean, 26 have intensified as investigators continue to hold off on obtaining an arrest on manslaughter charges.

Responding to the handling of Guyger’s case, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said investigators needed more time to decipher what they have described as an unusual case of a shooting by an officer.

The statement follows palpable unease among social media users who were first to identity the anonymous Dallas police officer– with Dallas Police eventually forced to publicly confirm the officer’s identity.

Commentators on the platform had expressed aghast that despite Guyger herself calling police and admit shooting Jean, the officer at best had only been put on administrative leave. A result that has led to many questioning whether Guyger is receiving ‘deferential’ treatment given her status as a police officer along with speculation that somehow the shooting death meant less because the victim happened to be black.

Responding to growing outcry, Dallas Police Chief Hall cited the Texas Ranger Division, a separate agency who had now joined investigations, ‘in holding off a warrant be postponed.’

Botham Shem Jean shooting: Do Officer Amber Guyger’s claims add up?

Jean, 26, a naturalized US citizen and accountant with elite accounting firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers was shot Thursday night in his unit in an apartment building near downtown Dallas. Police said Guyger, still in uniform after working a ’12 hour long’ shift, went inside Jean’s apartment believing it was hers.

How Guyger confused the victim’s apartment- who was on another floor from hers- remained unknown. Also not immediately clear is how the officer was able to enter Jean’s apartment with her own key remained unknown. It wasn’t revealed whether Jeans’ door was unlocked when Guyger sought to gain entry circa 11pm, Thursday night. 

What happened next continued to remain a mystery, with police yet to publicly say what transpired, what interaction between Guyger and Jean resulted- only that Guyger fired her weapon.  She called 911, with Jean dying at a hospital. At no point was a weapon ever found on Jean’s person or has there been a suggestion the victim using force on Guyger. 

Botham Shem Jean shooting: enough evidence to bring at least manslaughter charges forward.

Responding to Dallas officials seeming reluctance to bring Guyger into custody, Dallas civil rights attorney Lee Meritt now representing Jeans’ family said that based on his conversations with officials, including Hall, there was enough evidence to arrest Guyger on suspicion of manslaughter. Merritt said he asked investigators with the Texas Ranger Division whether the postponement meant there was no probable cause to arrest Guyger.

‘They said, ‘Not necessarily,’ and that they just wanted more evidence,’ Merritt told the Washington Post.

The delay has frustrated Jean’s grieving family members and raised questions about deferential treatment for police officers.

‘In any normal case where there’s probable cause . . . you make an arrest,’ Merritt said. ‘When law enforcement [is under investigation], for some reason, we don’t use the normal protocol in dealing with criminal activity.’

Merritt said Jean and the officer did not know each other. The officer’s apartment was directly below Jean’s, he said.

Jean’s death has renewed calls for policing reform and places the national spotlight back on a police department that, just two years ago, lost five of its officers in a shooting. A lone gunman who ‘said he wanted to kill white people, especially white officers,’ opened fire in July 2016 in the middle of what had otherwise been a peaceful protest over police shootings.

Hall said she did not know whether race was a factor in Jean’s death and asked the public for patience as investigators do their work.

And then there were these responses on social media that made this author wonder, see what you think?

Dallas Cop knocked on black man’s door demanding, ‘let me in’ say neighbors

Victim blaming? White Dallas cop shot Botham Jean after ignoring verbal commands.

Dallas cop killer charged (at last) with manslaughter of Botham Jean.

Both Shem Jean Dallas cop killer identified: previously shot another man

Was Dallas black man shot by white female officer revenge for failed romance?