Maybe you’ve seen the rumors online: That Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger and neighbor Botham Shem Jean maybe knew each other, perhaps dated, before she fatally shot him Thursday night. A photo from the deceased’s Instagram account shows Jean with sunglasses posing with three women. It was claimed online that the one on the left is the officer who shot him, and well, that’s not the case.
Not at all.
A spokeswoman with PriceWaterhouseCooper, where Jean used to work, told The Dallas Morning News on Sunday that the woman in question is a coworker. The women are all his friends, and none of them belong to law enforcement, said the spokeswoman.
A law enforcement official, who was not authorized to publicly talk about the case, said no evidence turned up showing that Jean or the officer had even met before.
Attorney Lee Merritt, who represents Jean’s family, said in a press conference Saturday that neither law enforcement nor anyone linked to the victim’s relatives could confirm the speculation that he and the officer knew each other.
“In fact, they said just the opposite,” he said.
Law&Crime has reviewed the photo, but we are not posting it.
Guyger was identified by police as the officer Saturday evening. She has been with the department for four years. What they didn’t mention is that she shot and wounded a suspect last year after he allegedly took her Taser, though she wasn’t charged in that incident.
According to cops, preliminary information suggested that she returned home to the South Side Flats complex, and shot Jean after coming to an apartment she mistakenly believed was hers.
There’s no public dispute that Guyger is responsible. The question is whether she is liable for this death.
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said Saturday they were in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant the day before, but the Texas Rangers asked them to postpone this for further investigation. According to her, the Rangers said they interviewed the officer, and wanted to follow up on leads from that talk. She asked the community to place trust in her and her officers during this process. The Texas Rangers are now in charge of the investigation.
Because of the hold up, Merritt voiced concern that the officer was getting deferential treatment on account of being law enforcement.
“We not asking anyone to jump to any conclusions,” he said. “We’re not asking for law enforcement to convict this person, or deny them their right to due process, but we’re asking that they be treated as any other citizen–where there is evidence that they committed a crime–be treated, and that is for a warrant to be issued, and for an arrest be made.”
[Screengrab vai NBC DFW]