Amber Guyger—the 30-year-old police officer who shot and killed 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean as he sat in his own apartment minding his own business—has been fired from her job with the Dallas Police Department.
The department announced Guyger’s termination via a post on Twitter, saying the officer had been terminated during a hearing that took place Monday.
“Dallas Police Chief U. Reneé Hall terminated Police Officer Amber Guyger, #10702, during a hearing held September 24, 2018,” the statement said. “An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, 2018, Officer Guyger, #10702, engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter.
“Officer Guyger was terminated for her actions. She was hired in November 2013 and was assigned to the Southeast Patrol Division. Under civil service rules, Officer Guyger has the right to appeal her discipline.”
The announcement itself is somewhat confusing for a number of reasons.
What did Guyger supposedly do when she was arrested on Sept. 9? The shooting was on Sept. 6; is that the date they meant to put on the announcement?
The Washington Post had the same question, and when they asked, Dallas police said that Guyger was fired “simply because she had been arrested—not for anything she did during the apprehension.”
The use of the word “apprehension” is overdoing it a bit, in my opinion, because Guyger turned herself in. She wasn’t apprehended, but whatever.
Guyger being fired is a good sign, but the fact that she can appeal this decision is not. Furthermore, there needs to be more than a termination.
A man was killed for doing nothing more than being in his own apartment.
Guyger’s story is she parked her car on the wrong level of her parking lot and therefore entered the wrong floor of the building. She went to the door she thought was hers, put her key in the lock, and because the door was allegedly “ajar,” her key pushed the door open.
From the doorway, she reportedly saw Jean as a “shadow,” and thinking him to be a burglar, she allegedly yelled out verbal commands that she said he did not comply with before drawing her service weapon and firing twice. Jean was struck in the torso and died from the gunshot wound.
Guyger presumably had some training to get into the job she had. There are key things she missed just on an observational level that could have prevented Botham Jean’s death. The red doormat. Furniture presumably in positions they would not be in had she been in her own apartment. Shadows—which she claimed Jean was—would have looked different as well. Why didn’t she notice any of this?
The timing of Guyger’s termination is a bit odd, considering just last week, Chief Hall said she did not want to fire Guyger because it could interfere with the criminal investigation into Jean’s shooting death.
In a statement released Thursday, Hall said: “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.”
Four days later, Guyger has been fired, but the criminal investigation is not yet complete. How will her termination impact the criminal investigation?
Is her termination meant as a pacification for the masses calling for justice?
Again, justice means more than Guyger losing her job. We need a conviction, and we need her to serve time for what she has done. This should not be swept under the rug.
Botham Jean deserves better.