The family of 26-year-old Botham Jean, who was killed by a Dallas Police Department (DPD) officer inside his own apartment, plans to file a lawsuit against the cop who killed him and the City of Dallas.
According to attorney Lee Merritt, who is representing Jean’s surviving family, the lawsuit is likely to be filed after a grand jury decides whether to sustain the charges against fired DPD officer Amber Guyger, add additional charges or dismiss the current manslaughter charge entirely.
In comments to the New York Daily News, Merritt said, “It’s holding the city accountable for the actions of the police officer.”
Guyger killed Jean after somehow making her way into his apartment under suspicious circumstances after returning to the complex they both lived in on Sept. 6, 2018.
Guyger’s story appears to have changed multiple times following Jean’s slaying. In one version of Guyger’s story, Jean answered the door. In another version, he was across the room when she shot him twice. One version has Jean and Guyger exchanging words–another does not.
Multiple witnesses attest that they heard Guyger pounding on Jean’s door. Guyger claims she used either a key-card to open Jean’s door and/or that the door was already ajar. Various other discrepancies in both Guyger’s account–and the official law enforcement response–have been noted by North Texas attorneys.
Defense specialist Stephen Le Brocq said, in previous comments to Law&Crime:
The most remarkable part of the [Guyger arrest document] is where it states what the officer purportedly believed. Specifically, that there was a burglar in her apartment. This is a factual question and is something for a jury to decide. If the statements are true as written in the affidavit, I see no crime having been committed.
On the strength of that allegedly “biased” probable cause affidavit, Amber Guyger was finally arrested three days later and charged with manslaughter by the Texas Ranger Division–an elite law enforcement agency operating under the banner of the Texas Department of Public Safety which has jurisdiction over the entirety of the Lone Star State.
[image via Kaufman County Jail]
Follow Colin Kalmbacher on Twitter: @colinkalmbacher
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