Officer Amber Guyger Fired, But Not For Shooting Botham Jean
Dallas, TX – The Dallas police chief has fired the officer who is facing manslaughter charges after she fatally shot a man she believed was in her own apartment.
Chief U. Renee Hall put out a press statement on Monday that said a hearing had been held on 30-year-old Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger’s status.
“An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, 2018, Officer Guyger, # 10702, engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter,” the chief’s statement read.
That statement appears to refer to some action taken by then-Officer Guyger on the day of her arrest.
The firing came after two weeks of protests in the city, and widespread calls for the chief to terminate Officer Guyger’s employment with the Dallas Police Department (DPD).
The chief had said she couldn't fire Guyger for the shooting itself until the investigation was complete.
The shooting occurred as the off-duty officer returned home from work just after 10 p.m. on Sept. 6, after having worked 14 hours serving warrants in high crime areas of the city.
Officer Guyger parked on the 4th floor of the parking garage adjacent to her apartment building, WCAU reported.
The 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.
Officer Guyger proceeded into the building and went to the door of the apartment she believed to be her own and inserted her key.
The affidavit used to get the warrant for the officer’s arrest said the door to the 4th Floor apartment was not completely shut. It’s been reported that the Southside Flats apartments use a keycard entry system.
“She inserted a unique door key, with an electronic chip, into the door key hole,” the affidavit said. “The door, which was slightly ajar prior to Guyger’s arrival, fully opened under the force of the key insertion.”
The sound of the door opening alerted 26-year-old Botham Jean, who went to see what was going on at his front door, the affidavit said.
Officer Guyger saw the silhouette of someone in what she believed to be her own apartment, and drew her firearm, WCAU reported. The affidavit said she believed she was being robbed.
She gave verbal commands that were ignored by Jean, according to the affidavit. Then she fired her weapon in the dark at the person twice, striking him once.
The arrest affidavit said it wasn’t until Officer Guyger was already on the phone with 911, that she reached to turn on the lights and she realized she was not in her own apartment.
She went into the hall and checked the address on the door, and confirmed for the dispatchers that she was in unit 1478, one floor above her own apartment, WCAU reported.
Jean was transported to Baylor Medical Center in Dallas where he later died.
The Texas Rangers are conducting the investigation into the shooting.
Initially, Chief Hall told angry protesters at a Town Hall meeting on Sept. 18 that she could not fire the officer before an internal investigation had been completed, the Dallas Morning News reported.
Thomas Taylor, Chief Hall’s chief of staff, said that an administrative hearing was on hold until after the criminal investigation was completed.
Chief Hall explained in a written statement on Sept. 20 that she didn’t want to risk compromising the criminal investigation into the shooting by changing Officer Guyger’s employment status.
"As an employer, DPD can compel Officer Guyger to provide a statement during a DPD administrative investigation and those statements given to DPD could potentially compromise the criminal investigation," the chief said in a statement.
She said she wasn’t willing to risk creating a situation where Officer Guyger would be let off on a “technicality,” KXAS reported.
Chief Hall promised the police department would proceed with their investigation as soon as she was sure they wouldn’t be impeding the criminal investigation.