In a case that still seems to have a lot of open questions, a Dallas police officer will be facing manslaughter charges after she shot and killed a 26-year-old man in his own apartment. The officer, who has not been identified, thought she had gone into her own apartment when she had actually gone into her neighbor’s home and apparently thought he was an intruder.
The strange series of events unfolded Thursday night, when the white patrol officer went into her apartment building after working a full shift. The officer, who was still wearing her police uniform, for some reason tried to go into her neighbor’s apartment rather than her own. That’s when she saw her neighbor, 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean, and shot him. “This is a very unique situation,” Police Chief U. Renee Hall said at a news conference Friday afternoon. “We have ceased handling it under our normal officer-involved shooting protocol.” Police are obtaining a warrant to charge the officer, who was been tested for alcohol and drugs. The Texas Rangers will be conducting an independent investigation of the incident.
Jean, a native of Saint Lucia, was a graduate of Harding University in Arkansas and was an employee at PricewaterhouseCoopers in Dallas. He was known as a worship leader at the university, where officials mourned his death at chapel services Friday. “The entire Harding family grieves today for the loss of Botham Jean, who has meant so very much to us. Please join us in praying for Botham’s friends and family,” the university said in a statement. “This is a terrible tragedy,” a PricewaterhouseCoopers spokeswoman said in an email. “We are simply heartbroken to hear of his death.”
The victim’s mother, Allison Jean, talked to NBC News and wondered whether race had played a role in the officer’s apparent decision to pull the trigger. “I didn’t know she was white until now. If it was a white man would it have been different? Would she had reacted differently?” Jean said. “I don’t want to judge her. We are Christians. We forgive. But I need to look into her eyes and ask her why did she do that to my son.”
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