Dallas police officer charged with
shooting death of neighbor
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[September 10, 2018]
By Rich McKay
(Reuters) - A Dallas police officer was
charged on Sunday with manslaughter in the fatal shooting of a neighbor,
who authorities said was shot by the officer when she walked into an
apartment she thought was her own and mistook the man living there for
The bizarre sequence of events unfolded after the police officer, Amber
Guyger, 30, had just completed a shift late on Thursday and was still in
uniform as she returned to an apartment she erroneously believed was
hers, police said.
Inside she encountered the apartment's rightful occupant, 26-year-old
Botham Shem Jean, leading her to fire her weapon at him before she
called emergency-911 for assistance, according to an account described
to reporters on Friday by Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall.
The deadly confrontation immediately took on racial overtones, as Guyger
is white and Jean, whose family is from the Caribbean island of Saint
Lucia, was black.
The shooting marked the latest in a flurry of high-profile cases in
recent years in which unarmed black man have died at the hands of white
police officers around the country, stirring a national debate over
racial inequalities in the U.S. criminal justice system and giving rise
to the Black Lives Matter movement.
Hall said a blood sample was taken from Guyger to determine whether
there were any drugs or alcohol in her system. But the police chief
turned over investigation of the incident to the Texas Rangers because
of the sensitivity of the matter.
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Authorities came under fire from Jean's family, however, for saying
initially that Guyger would be arrested on suspicion of manslaughter
but then delaying in bringing a case against the officer.
On Sunday, Guyger was arrested on a charge of manslaughter in the
shooting but was released later after posting $300,000 bond,
according to the Texas Department of Public Safety and a clerk for
the Kaufman County Jail told Reuters by phone.
An attorney for Guyger could not immediately be reached for comment.
The police said no other information was available Sunday night.
Jean's family attorney, S. Lee Merritt, said that a local service is
planned for Jean on Thursday and his remains would be sent to his
family's home in the Caribbean.
(Reporting by Rich McKay and Steve Gorman; Editing by Michael Perry)
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