A grand jury is hearing evidence in the case of a white former Dallas police officer who fatally shot her unarmed black neighbor while he was watching football in his own home.
Amber Guyger, 30, was arrested on a manslaughter charge after the September 6 shooting of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean inside his apartment.
Daryl Washington, an attorney for the family of the slain man, said the grand jury began hearing the case on Monday.
The grand jury will hear evidence and decide whether to indict Guyger.
It could also decide on a more serious charge.
Amber Guyger, 30, was arrested on a manslaughter charge after the September 6 shooting of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean inside his apartment. Photo courtesy of Fox 4
Botham Jean, a 26-year-old accountant, was in his Dallas apartment watching football when Guyger opened fire on him
Guyger reported that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and thought she had encountered an intruder on the night of the fatal shooting, according to court records.
She was arrested and charged with manslaughter days after the shooting and has since been fired from the Dallas Police Department.
Amber Guyger, 30, was arrested on a manslaughter charge after the September 6 shooting of 26-year-old accountant Botham Jean inside his apartment
Jean’s family has filed a lawsuit against Guyger and the city of Dallas in the shooting.
The lawsuit argues that the police department did not adequately train Guyger, who had ended her shift prior to the shooting. The litigation also argues Guyger was acting under her scope as a Dallas officer during the deadly encounter.
There remains conflicting narratives over what led up to the shooting.
An affidavit prepared by the Texas Rangers said Guyger went to the wrong apartment after ending her shift on September 6. The door, according to the document, was ajar and Guyger opened it.
Inside, the lights were off and a figure in the darkness cast a large silhouette across the room, according to Guyger. She said she thought her apartment was being burglarized and gave verbal commands to the person, who ignored them.
She then pulled out her firearm and shot two times, hitting Jean once in the torso, according to the affidavit. The lawsuit said Guyger did not give emergency aid to Jean following the gunfire.
Guyger reported that she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and thought she had encountered an intruder on the night of the fatal shooting
Lee Merritt, one of the attorneys for Jean’s family, cast doubt on Guyger’s narrative. Merritt has said that two independent witnesses told him they heard knocking on the door in the hallway before the shooting.
He said one witness reported hearing a woman’s voice saying: ‘Let me in! Let me in!’
Jean was not the first person shot by the former officer.
Gugyer shot and wounded Uvaldo Perez, on May 12, 2017, while she was on duty.
An affidavit in the case filed against Perez said police were looking for a suspect when Guyger and another officer were called to assist a third. Perez got out of a car and became combative with Guyger and another officer.
A struggle started and she opened fire after Perez wrestled her Taser away from her.
Gugyer was not charged in that incident.