In Dallas, fallout from the fatal shooting of a black man in his own home by a white police officer continues. The officer claims she entered the wrong apartment. KERA News reporter Chris Connelly is covering the story. He says that some of what happened that night is disputed.
“We know that Office Amber Guyger, a Dallas police officer, 30 years old, four years on the force, returned to her apartment building on Thursday night after a very long shift,” Connelly says.
Guyger entered the apartment belonging to Botham Jean, a 26-year-old black man who worked for the PricewaterhouseCoopers consulting firm, in Dallas. She then shot him, saying later that she believed she was in her own home, and that she had surprised a burglar.
“She parked on the wrong floor, thinking it was her own, and went to Jean’s door, which was directly above hers, and then tried to get in with the key. But the door was slightly ajar, so it pushed open,” Connelly says, referring to Guyger’s affidavit detailing what happened.
The affidavit says Guyger warned the man, whose silhouette she saw in the darkened apartment, before firing her service weapon, killing Jean.
“The family of Botham Jean is challenging that narrative,” Connelly says. “And they said that they don’t believe the story. They said that Botham Jean was a meticulous person – that he wouldn’t have left his door unlocked, that he had put this bright red doormat in front of his door specifically so that people wouldn’t mistake his door for their own.”
Connelly says the family has witnesses who say they heard knocking on the door, and a woman saying “Let me in.”
Guyger was charged with manslaughter. Connelly says the charge usually reflects a situation in which a killing was accidental.
“But it’s not clear that manslaughter is what she will end up facing in court,” Connelly says.
Connelly says the Dallas County district attorney avoided discussing the manslaughter charge during a press conference.
Monday night, 150 people protested the shooting at Dallas Police headquarters. Another protest is planned for Wednesday evening, Connelly says.
Written by Shelly Brisbin.