Who Is Amber Guyger? New Details About The Officer Who Shot A Man After She Accidentally Entered His Home (Thinking It Was Hers)

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Who Shot Botham Jean? New Details Dallas Officer Amber Guyger Shot And Killed
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Officer Amber Guyger entered Botham Jean's apartment, mistaking it as her own. Then, she shot him.

Update 10/1: Amber Guyger was found guilty of murder for killing Botham Jean. The charge is not eligible for probation and she faces five to 99 years in prison.

With stories of police brutality (specifically white officers killing unarmed black citizens) gracing the headlines all too frequently, few have been as shocking and completely unwarranted as the shooting of 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean in Dallas, Texas on the evening of Thursday, Sept. 6.

While most stories of officers killing unarmed black men occur while the officer is on duty, this story is different.

30-year-old Amber Guyger, the officer who shot and killed Jean, was off-duty and returning home from work. She entered Jean’s unlocked apartment mistaking it as her own.

When she saw Jean, she proceeded to shoot him assuming that he was an intruder.

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By all accounts, Jean was a model citizen and had recently graduated from Harding University in Arkansas with a degree in accounting. He was involved in leadership clubs and his Christian church and worked for PricewaterhouseCoopers as a risk assurance associate.

In the days following the shooting, several developments have occurred.

Guyger was not immediately taken into custody, leading Jean’s family and supporters to believe that she is receiving preferential treatment due to her status as a police officer. According to CNN, three days had passed before Guyger was charged with manslaughter and arrested. On Sunday, Sept. 9, she posted her $300,000 bail and was released from jail.

As new details continue to emerge during the investigation, few questions have definitive answers. Here are five new details about the case:

1. Amber Guyger was on the force for four years.

Officer Amber Guyger had been working as an officer in Dallas for four years before the incident. According to a statement from Dallas police, she was assigned to the Southeast patrol division.

The Dallas Morning News reported that Guyger was the only woman serving on an “elite critical response team” within the force. This team is assigned to high-risk arrests in a crime-ridden area of Dallas.

Although she had been living in the area for a long time and is native to Texas, Guyger had only lived in her current apartment complex where the shooting occurred, The South Side Flats, for one month. She and Botham Jean did not know each other personally.

2. She had just finished her shift at the time of the incident.

Guyger was returning home from a 15-hour shift when she entered Jean’s apartment thinking that it was her own. She allegedly parked on the wrong floor of the apartment building: one floor above her own.

When she entered Jean’s apartment, she was still in her police uniform. Officers are required to turn in their body cams when they clock out, so there is no known footage of the incident. Because of this, not much is known about the length or nature of the interaction leading to the shooting.

3. Her blood is being tested.

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Anyone who has lived in an apartment complex may find it hard to believe that one could mistakenly enter the wrong apartment and not realize their mistake right away, leading some to believe that Officer Guyger may have been intoxicated at the time of the shooting.

Her blood was drawn for drug and alcohol testing after she called 911 to report the incident, and results are pending.

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4. The case was handed over to the Texas Rangers.

In an attempt to eliminate bias, the police department has turned the case over to the Texas Rangers for investigation.

Initially, the Dallas Police Department was to investigate the incident, but members of Jean’s family, as well as the public, saw bias in the lack of charges that ensued. The Texas Ranger Division, also known as the Texas Rangers, is a statewide law enforcement agency in Texas that is comparable to the FBI.

According to the Washington Post, Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall claimed to have been in the process of obtaining an arrest warrant, but the Rangers wanted to wait for more information to pursue charges. Eventually, Guyger was charged with manslaughter, but officials say that charges could become more severe as new information emerges.

5. Officer Guyger was involved in a police shooting in 2017.

This was not the first time that Officer Guyger shot someone while in uniform.

In 2017, during a traffic stop, Officer Guyger was attempting to view a woman’s identification when a man who was also in the car tried to take her taser. She shot Uvaldo Perez after he was combative with officers and gained control of her taser.

Perez’s injuries were not life-threatening, and he was charged with taking a weapon from an officer, meth possession, marijuana possession and parole violation. Unlike the Botham Jean case, Perez’s shooting was deemed justifiable.

6. She was distracted by sexual texts

According to Dallas News, Officer Guyger was "distracted' by flirtatious and sexually explicit texts she was sending to her partner, Officer Martin Rivera — who she'd been in an on-and-off relationship with — before the shooting occurred. Prosecutors say this may have been part of the reason she was on "autopilot" when she walked into the wrong apartment and shot Botham Jean.

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Emily is a freelance writer based in Colorado, USA. She is interested in politics, feminism, and psychology and enjoys photography and outdoor activities in her spare time.

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