A grand jury has indicted white ex-Dallas cop Amber Guyger on murder charges for shooting and killing an unarmed black man, Botham Jean, after intruding into his apartment in September.
The grand jury began hearing evidence for the case on Monday, delivering its verdict on Friday afternoon. Guyger, who was fired from the Dallas police department after the shooting, claimed she had mistaken Jean’s apartment for her own after a long shift and thought he was an intruder—a story that rang false to many, including Jean’s family.
Guyger was originally charged with manslaughter in the 26-year-old St. Lucia native’s death.
Scott Roberts, a senior campaign director at the racial justice advocacy group Color of Change, wrote in a press release announcing the judgment: “Today’s decision from the Dallas grand jury to indict Officer Amber Guyger is the first step in the right direction to ensuring justice for Botham Jean, his family, and all of us who are demanding an end to police violence.”
“Murder has always been the appropriate charge for Officer Guyger,” he added. “It was clear from the beginning that the city of Dallas’ response to the case was unacceptable. It was also evident that Amber received preferential treatment throughout this investigation because she was a police officer.”
Dallas’ newly-elected district attorney, John Creuzot, recently shared that he felt murder was the right charge for Guyger.
It’s not clear at this point exactly what evidence was presented to the grand jury this week. The Dallas Morning News listed electronic door lock data, phone and social media records for Guyger and Jean, Jean’s autopsy report, and Guyger’s blood and alcohol tests shortly after the shooting as possibilities (the tests and Jean’s autopsy have yet to be released to the public).