The Slatest

Dallas Officer Who Killed Unarmed Black Man in His Own Apartment Indicted for Murder

Two women, dressed in funeral clothes, embrace. A man in a suit directs people toward the service.
People pay their respects at the funeral service for Botham Shem Jean at Greenville Avenue Church of Christ on September 13, 2018 in Richardson, Texas.
Stewart F. House/Getty Images

Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who shot and killed a 26-year-old black man in his own apartment in September, claiming she mistook him for a burglar, was indicted on a murder charge by a grand jury on Friday.

Guyger, who claimed she shot Botham Jean on Sept. 6 after she mistook his apartment for her own one floor above, was initially arrested on manslaughter charges.

Guyger, 30, had just finished a long shift at work and was still wearing her police uniform when she entered Jean’s apartment. Jean, a naturalized citizen who grew up on the Caribbean island of St. Lucia and who moved to Dallas to work for the accounting firm PriceWaterHouseCoopers, was watching a football game, according to the Dallas Morning News. She claims she saw a “large silhouette” in the darkness and gave him “verbal commands” that he ignored. She pulled out her gun and fired twice.

Guyger was not arrested for the shooting until three days later. She was fired from her job later in September after the police department concluded she “engaged in adverse conduct.”

Already outraged over Jean’s killing, critics of the case’s handling grew angrier after the Fort Worth Star-Telegram obtained an affidavit for a search warrant showing that the judge authorized a search for “any contraband, such as narcotics.” Police found marijuana, and the attorney for Jean’s family has argued that the discovery amounted to an attempt to smear the victim.

Jean’s family has filed a lawsuit against Guyger and city officials, including the police chief.