September 13, 2018 7:43 am
Updated on September 13, 2018 at 11:00
This is a matter surrounded by controversy: a white policewoman who is not employed and who, without a court order or a previous report, enters the house of a neighbor of his black race and kills him with two shots.
The events took place in the city of Dallas in Texas last Thursday, but the agent in question was arrested only Sunday.
Now the prosecutor condemns her of a crime of culpable manslaughter, instead of deliberate manslaughter.
Agent Amber Guyger argues that she inadvertently entered the house of Botham Shem Jean, a 26-year-old man without a criminal record, because he thought it was his apartment.
When he saw the man inside, he fired, only aware of his mistake when he turned on the light of the house.
For the time being, the only version of the facts is based on what the policeman has stated.
According to Guyger, he came to his home in an apartment complex last Thursday after a 15-hour workday.
The door of the house was ajar, and as he went inside he saw, in the middle of the darkness, a long shadow that he thought was a thief who, after shouting twice without obeying him, closed him down. to shoot.
Jean was described by the Mayor of Dallas as an exemplary citizen BOTHAM SHEM JEAN / FACEBOOK
Then he called the emergency number and when he turned on the light, he discovered that the number on the door of the apartment was not his, 1378, but 1478.
That is, he was on the floor immediately above hers.
According to the local press, a video was made by a neighbor in which Guyger seems to appear crying on the phone.
The emergency number can also be heard when the 911 call is answered, while Jean has repeatedly apologized.
There are, however, several elements that raise doubts about this recount of the facts.
Lawyer Lee Merritt, who represents the victim's family, says that Guyger's version that he wrongly entered a house that was not his, is contradicted by a testimony.
"There are witnesses who said that before the shooting the officer knocked on the door and repeatedly said" let me in, "said the lawyer. The Washington Post.
On the other hand, although the exterior design of the corridors of the building is very similar, there was a bright red carpet at the entrance to Jean's apartment.
The authorities took blood samples from Guyger on the spot to check whether the drug was under the influence of alcohol or any other substance.
But the controversy continues.
Racism or nepotism
The relatives of Jean also hired lawyer Benjamin Crump, who worked on the cases of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown, two unarmed African-American teenagers who were murdered by a volunteer district warden and a policeman respectively.
Lawyer Benjamin Crump is one of the legal representatives of Jean's family GETTY IMAGES
"Blacks in the United States have been killed by the police in the most unusual ways," Crump said at a press conference Monday.
"You know, driving a car that is black, walking through our neighborhoods turns black … and now they kill us by living in our apartments that are black," he said.
Questions have also been raised about how the authorities have handled the case.
Merritt, the other lawyer of the Jean family, criticized the fact that Guyger had not been arrested on the spot.
"We do not want anyone to have been able to leave the scene of crime because he would not have been a citizen," he said.
She also asked if after her arrest on Sunday the officer was allowed to hand in the authorities in Kaufman County, a rural area southeast of Dallas, and to lock himself in a remote prison.
At the weekend there were civil protests for the Dallas police headquarters in protest for what had happened in this case.
Guyger surrendered to the authorities Monday morning, but was later released after paying a $ 300,000 deposit.
The Mayor of Dallas, Mike Rawlings, promised a transparent investigation into what happened GETTY IMAGES
"Officials did not say anything about the physical and mental state the agent was in at the time, if she was under the influence of a controlled substance, why she thought Jean's apartment was his and why an agent trained seems to have quickly resorted to the use of deadly force, "said the Washington Post.
Beyond the US.
But the impact of this case exceeds the limits of the United States.
Jean was born and raised on the Caribbean island of Saint Lucia, where his mother worked in the government and whose citizenship he still holds.
During the press conference, the lawyers of the family were accompanied by the Prime Minister of the country, Allen Chastanet.