Judge Says Botham Jean's Family Can't Sue PD Because It Wasn't A Police Shooting

Sandy Malone

A federal judge ruled that Botham Jean's family cannot hold the city liable for his death at the hands of a former cop.

Dallas, TX – A federal judge dismissed a lawsuit against the Dallas Police Department by the family of the man who was killed in his own apartment by former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger.

U.S. District Judge Barbara Lynn ruled on Dec. 23, 2019 that the city of Dallas could not be held liable for the off-duty shooting that left 26-year-old Botham Jean dead, CBS News reported.

In her ruling, the judge said that she was upholding a magistrate’s prior decision because the lawsuit failed "to state a claim upon which relief can be granted."

A jury convicted Guyger of murder on Oct. 1, 2019 after only five hours of deliberation.

The same jury sentenced her a day later to 10 years in prison.

The former police officer had been facing up to 99 years in prison for the crime.

Guyger was initially arrested on a manslaughter charge on Sept. 9, three days after she fatally shot Jean in his apartment.

Then-Officer Guyger was off-duty and returning home from work just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 6 when the incident occurred.

After having worked 14 hours serving warrants in high crime areas of the city, the 30-year-old officer parked on the wrong floor of the parking garage adjacent to her apartment building, WCAU reported.

The arrest affidavit said the garage levels correspond with the floors in the apartment complex. Officer Guyger lives on the 3rd Floor of the Southside Flats apartment complex, and should have parked on the 3rd floor where her apartment was.

But the off-duty officer parked on the 4th floor of the parking garage and proceeded into the building, where she went to the door of the apartment she believed to be her own and inserted her key.

The door to Jean’s apartment hadn’t shut and locked completely, and opened for Guyger.

She saw Jean inside the dark apartment and believed him to be a robber.

When he did not respond to her commands and came toward her, Guyger fatally shot him.

The former police officer didn’t realized she wasn’t in her own apartment until she turned on the lights after calling 911 for an ambulance.

Guyger maintained throughout her trial that she had done everything possible to save Jean after she mistakenly shot him, but the jury believed otherwise.

Prosecutors had pointed to text messages that the former police officer sent to her married lover, who was also a police officer, before medics arrived to render aid and said Guyger should have been utilizing the materials in her trauma kit to save Jean rather than texting her angst to a boyfriend.

The lawsuit filed by the family against the Dallas police alleged that Jean would still be alive if not for the shoddy training Guyger received from the police department, CBS News reported.

"By simply following proper police procedures and the best police practices and not the protocol of the DPD to 'shoot first and ask questions later', Defendant Guyger would have not shot Jean,” the family’s suit claimed, according to the Dallas Morning News.

"Essentially, Officer Guyger was ill-trained, and as a result, defaulted to the defective DPD policy: to use deadly force even when there existed no immediate threat of harm to themselves or others," the lawsuit read.

The judge’s decision wasn’t a surprise as legal experts had predicted the outcome, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Although Guyger was still in her Dallas police uniform when she shot Botham with her duty weapon, she was off-duty and not acting in a police capacity when the shooting occurred.

Legal experts said the fact that she was off-duty at the time of the incident would make the success of any lawsuit against the police department unlikely, the Dallas Morning News reported.

Comments (75)
Hi_estComnDenomn
Hi_estComnDenomn

😂how far did that forgiveness and hug get you?

No. 1-14
RetiredCorrections
RetiredCorrections

No lottery payday , don’t get me wrong, it is a sad situation, mistakes were made without a doubt, but she was not on duty when it happened.

Jones24
Jones24

Some one is getting greedy

Marxest
Marxest

Wow. An off duty police officer (in her uniform) murders an innocent man in his home with her duty weapon and a Dallas judge rules that the city isn't liable for his murder. Disgusting. But this is Texas and the judge is white. The murderer is a white woman and the victim is a black man so I can't say this racially motivated injustice surprises me. In relation to this development, I guess its good that they couldn't sue Black Lives Matter when the soldier, veteran, patriot and vigilante Mr Micah Xavier Johnson shot those five officers in Dallas, 2016. Who knows, with all the atrocities that white officers have been committing lately, more officers just might fall in the line of duty to vigilante bullets. We'll see what parties are liable in that eventuality.

Judid292
Judid292

They should have sued her directly.

Raymelson
Raymelson

She is paying for her mistake so that should be the end of it

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

#alwaysonduty

bob95648
bob95648

So, the families in Sandy Hook can sue Remington for selling a legal rifle to a legal adult owner, but Dallas PD isn't responsible for the actions of one of their employees when the drunken slut kills an unarmed man in his own home with their gun that they issued to her! If Dallas PD isn't responsible for what she does with "their" gun when she's off the clock, why does she have possession of their gun when she is off the clock?

Stanracer
Stanracer

A judge with a spine. That's refreshing!👍

Jim H. - Virginia US
Jim H. - Virginia US

Sad situation, but say an off-duty cop decided to conduct an armed robbery or some other crime. The cop is at fault, not the city, unless there was some contributing negligence, like prior knowledge.

See Respondeat superior legal doctrine.

Burgers Allday
Burgers Allday

Any time you give a person a gun, and you give that same person bullets, and then the person goes out and commits a murder with the gun and the bullets, that is, in and of itself, a strong indication of negligence (and possibly worse, depending upon what discovery shows.

Janken
Janken

About time a judge stood up to people who want to sue.

Richardson1993
Richardson1993

U liberals need to wake up and staop with all this black lives matter crap she done wrong shes paying for it leave it be move on act lime an adult

Beboppin Skylarkin
Beboppin Skylarkin

All that buckdancin and soft shoe'n and you didn't even get the bag... You feel stupid now don't you? That "forgibs, forgibs, forgibs" and "turn the other cheek" talk got you looking like retards... Good job, now you've just embolden these so called "police officers" to violate the Human/Constitutional Rights of black people even further... Idiot.


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