Usually when a police officer, white or otherwise, kills a black man the activists go crazy screaming racism and injustice. Almost every time however, the black man was armed, threatening officers, and attacking, so those calls of racially-motivated murder are ridiculous. A white cop shot and killed a black man in Dallas and for the first time in recent memory, the police officer was 100% in the wrong. This is a genuine case of injustice, but oddly enough, there isn’t much outcry from Black Lives Matter or any of the normally hysterical groups.
On Thursday white Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger had just finished her shift and returned home to her apartment building, still in uniform. When she got to her unit, she found a black man, identified as 26-year-old Botham Jean, in her apartment, so she shot and killed him. The only problem was, it wasn’t her apartment at all. She was on the wrong floor and killed this innocent black man in his own apartment.
From several accounts Officer Guyger was unable to get her key to work in the lock and eventually Jean opened the door to see what was going on. It doesn’t appear as if Jean was armed, but even if he was, he had a right to be armed in his own residence.
Nobody is suggesting that race was at play here, but certainly stupidity played a roll. While people are allowed to make mistakes, like going to the wrong apartment, the use of deadly force in such a case goes beyond simple error.
I can sympathize with the officer and understand her fear when she thought there was strange man in her apartment, but come on, she’s a grown adult, she should know where she actually lives. Nobody deserves to be gunned down in their own home.
According to Fox News, Officer Guyger is expected to be charged with manslaughter for the shooting, but those charges are being held off pending a Texas Rangers investigation.
Botham Jean, the victim, was from the Caribbean island nation of St Lucia. He was a businessman with no prior history of arrests. Jean and Officer Guyger did not know each other.
What makes this case so unusual, other than it it is a genuine misuse of deadly force, is the restraint shown by the black community. Black State Senator Royce West made this stunning statement:
“Is this a white on black crime? Yes. It was a white, female Dallas police officer who shot and killed a person from St. Lucia of African descent. Is this a race-related crime? Don’t know. I would hold any type of decision you make on what happened until all of the facts come in,” said West.
Holding judgement until all of the facts are in? Where was this in the Michael Brown, Freddie Gray, Tamir Rice, Eric Garner, etc… cases? In all of those deaths, black activists rioted and burned down cities. They even continued this after the facts came out and proved the police where justified in their actions.
I’m not suggesting that black people should be incinerating the City of Dallas over Botham Jean’s death, but there is a cause for anger and not just from black people. A person has a right to feel safe and secure in his or her own home. Nobody should ever be shot dead because a cop made a dumb mistake.