When in Doubt, Blame the Dead

Botham Jean shown in a Sept. 21, 2017 photo
Botham Jean shown in a Sept. 21, 2017 photo
Photo: Jeff Montgomery (Harding University via AP Photo)

Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger should be facing a murder charge.

There are too many holes in this carefully-crafted narrative that is being doled out to us a teaspoonful at a time. Too many things don’t add up. The more they dribble out to us, the more questions we have.


Earlier Monday, a law enforcement official did an anonymous interview with the Dallas Morning News in which they “revealed” that Guyger was under the assumption that Botham Jean—the 26-year-old innocent black man minding his own black ass business in his own black ass home—was an intruder in her apartment, so she shot him.

Even if we are to believe that Guyger a) parked her car on the wrong level at her apartment complex, then b) proceeded to try and enter the wrong apartment—an apartment that had a red doormat in front of it that is not present at her own front door, and c) that apartment just so happened to be unlocked, so when she pushed her key? Into the wrong lock? It somehow mysteriously managed to make the door open without any resistance that would again clue her in to the fact that she was at the wrong apartment.

Then, once inside the allegedly dark apartment, Guyger saw someone move in the dark—and her first instinct was to shoot them, with deadly accuracy, in the chest in a dark apartment without knowing who it was she was pointing her gun at.

None of that was believable, and those spinning this ridiculous tale obviously knew that. The next question would be why someone with Guyger’s training would think the first thing to do was shoot.


So now comes the narrative that she issued “verbal commands” to Jean prior to shooting him.

Let me ask you a question. If you are sitting in the dark in your apartment, how likely are you to comply with someone busting in unannounced yelling commands at you? You don’t know who they are, and you are sitting in the dark the same way they are walking into a dark apartment.


Again, how is it that the same thing that is meant to excuse Amber Guyger is the thing police are going to use to condemn Botham Jean in his own death?

Why would he be required to comply with verbal commands from someone he is unfamiliar with?


And if we are running with the “she issued verbal commands” narrative, does that mean this is now going to be considered an officer-involved shooting?

You don’t get to have it both ways, law enforcement. “He should have just complied” does not apply to Botham Jean no matter how you try to spin this.


Amber Guyger should have been charged as a murderer and should be treated as such.


If the roles were reversed—if Botham Jean were a black male cop and Guyger was the white woman victim in a shooting, would we be having this same conversation? Would there be the same rush to cover up a cop’s crime?

Would people be saying Amber Guyger should have complied?

This is typical law enforcement behavior, and we need to nip it in the bud.

Blaming the dead after the fact is a false narrative.

The truth is, Botham Jean was in his apartment minding his own business, and he should still be alive right now.


A series of choices made by Amber Guyger took his life away from him. Let’s not lose sight of that.

Don’t blame Botham Jean. Blame Amber Guyger, the police officer who pulled out a gun and shot him.

News Editor for The Root. I said what I said. Period.



They gave her all weekend to cook up this story. Friday multiple witnesses were saying she was heard pounding on the door to open up and her keys were still in the front door lock after they wheeled Jean out.