The ex-police officer who murdered a man in his home says it was all a mistake and swears it had nothing to do with race, a claim echoed by many of the law enforcement officers who shot and killed 1,088 black people since 2015, according to the Washington Post’s “Fatal Force” database. And maybe that is true. But a collection of text messages between ex-police officer Amber Guyger and her fellow Dallas cops show that Guyger was either a typical, run-of-the-mill bigot, or she was working on a secret, undercover mission as a racist cop.
On Tuesday, a Texas jury convicted Guyger for murder in the Sept. 6, 2018, death of 26-year-old Botham Jean. Guyger shot and killed Jean after she shockingly discovered him standing in his own apartment. Guyger has defended herself by explaining that she mistakenly thought Jean’s apartment was hers. Apparently, the apartment was too dark to notice the furniture, decor and the apartment number were different, but it was just bright enough to get off a perfectly placed shot into Botham Jean’s chest.
On Wednesday, during the trial’s sentencing phase, prosecutors entered a string of Guyger’s text messages into evidence. The text messages revealed that Guyger may not have been a hate-filled violent racist, but she sure knew how to talk like one.
One thread, dating back to Jan. 15, 2018, came from a fellow officer only identified as “Blevins,” who was working the city’s annual Martin Luther King Day parade. Blevins asked Guyger if she was working the parade because he wanted to say “hi.” Guyger told him she wasn’t there but explained that she had worked the event for 10 years. Blevins asked her what time the parade usually ended.
“When MLK is dead,” Guyger replied. “Oh wait…”
Oh, don’t act all high and mighty like you’ve never joked about the assassination of a civil rights hero before. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard the old I-wish-Martin-Luther-King-was-alive-so-I-could-celebrate-when-he-dies joke. If I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it zero times.
But that wasn’t Guyger’s only zinger. Unprompted, Guyger proposed that Blevins push the parade attendees. Or, at the very least, Blevins could “spray [his] pepper spray in that general area,” the evil ex-cop suggested.
She’s a hoot, right?
Almost two months later, someone else informed the killer cop via text that they had been “at an area with 5 different black officers,” adding: “I’m not racist but damn!”
I don’t even know what that means! Was this unnamed person upset by the officers’ blackness? Maybe the texter just wanted to say something racist. Apparently, Guyger knew exactly what the person meant because she replied:
“Not racist but just have a different way of doing things.”
Two days before the definitely-not-racist cop killed a black man, someone named “Etheridge” texted Guyger to offer her a German Shepherd. The person claimed that their apartment was too small but explained that there was one other problem with the dog: She may be a little racist.
“It’s ok,” responded Guyger. “I’m the same.”
That bitch is racist as fuck.
Wait…I’m talking about the dog.
Guyger faces 5 to 99 years for Jean’s murder, a charge that makes her ineligible for probation. And even though she joked about MLK’s death and described herself as a racist to at least one person, she was probably just kidding. Perhaps she just has a “different way of doing things.”
Of course, there is no way to definitively know if anyone is racist. Maybe Donald Trump truly just wants to make America great again by locking migrants in cages. For all we know, the Ku Klux Klan is just a bunch of guys who like the way pointy white hoods look when they’re glowing by the light of a burning cross. Perhaps Amber Guyger is not a racist…
But she did stay at a Holiday Inn Express jail last night.