The Worst Police Shooting Yet

It is hard to think of a more tragic, more senseless shooting in America than the killing last week of Botham Shem Jean, a young black risk-assurance associate at PricewaterhouseCoopers, and a member of Dallas West Church of Christ.

This is what we know so far. Jean was home alone in his apartment in the South Side Flats complexin Dallas when police officer Amber Guyger entered and shot him dead. The precise chain of events is somewhat disputed. The affidavit supporting Guyger’s arrest warrant states that she believed she was entering her own apartment, which was directly below Jean’s and laid out almost identically. When she placed her key in the lock, the door pushed open, the apartment was dark, she saw a “large silhouette” across the room, and she believed she was facing a burglar. She “drew her firearm” and “gave verbal commands,” which she claims Jean ignored. She fired twice, and only then, she says, entered the apartment, called 911, turned on the lights, and realized she’d made a terrible mistake.

These statements, however, don’t square with other testimony. One witness reported hearing a woman yelling, “Let me in! Let me in!” before the gunshots and a man’s voice saying, “Oh my God. Why did you do that?” after them.

Aside from the horrific details of the shooting itself, there are already troubling indications that Guyger’s identity as a police officer is providing her with actual, undeserved advantages in the prosecution of this case.

First, police sources are reportedly indicating that Guyger may actually try to raise the fact that Jean didn’t obey her commands as a defense. It’s not a defense. The moment she opened the door to an apartment that wasn’t her own, she wasn’t operating as a police officer clothed with the authority of the law. She was instead a criminal. She was breaking into another person’s home. She was an armed home invader, and the person clothed with the authority of law to defend himself was Botham Shem Jean.

 Read more at National Review

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