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Dallas officer arrested on manslaughter warrant

By RYAN TARINELLI and KEN MILLER
Sunday 9 September 2018 21.12

DALLAS — A white Dallas police officer was arrested Sunday on a manslaughter warrant in the shooting of a black man at his home, Texas authorities said.

The Texas Department of Public Safety said in a news release that Officer Amber Guyger was booked into the Kaufman County Jail and that the investigation is ongoing. It said no additional information is available at this time.

Guyger, 30, fatally shot Botham Jean, 26, on Thursday. Lawyers for Jean’s family had been calling for Guyger’s arrest, saying the fact that she had remained free days after the shooting showed she was receiving favorable treatment.

S. Lee Merritt, who is representing the family of Jean’s family, said Saturday that the family isn’t calling on the authorities to jump to conclusions or to deny Guyger her right to due process. But Merritt, flanked by members of the family and Mothers Against Police Brutality, said they want Guyger "to be treated like every other citizen, and where there is evidence that they’ve committed a crime, that there’s a warrant to be issued and an arrest to be made."

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Guyger is a four-year veteran of the police force. The Dallas Police Department released her name Saturday night.

Police Chief U. Renee Hall said the day after the shooting that her department was seeking manslaughter charges against Guyger. But she said Saturday that the Texas Rangers, who have taken over the investigation, asked her department to hold off because they had learned new information and wanted to investigate further before a warrant was issued.

A spokesman for the Rangers, Lonny Haschel, said in an email Sunday that no additional information was available.

Jean’s family has also hired attorney Benjamin Crump, who is best known for representing the families of Trayvon Martin and Michael Brown. Martin, a black, unarmed 17-year-old, was shot and killed by a neighborhood watch volunteer in 2012 in Sanford. Brown, a black, unarmed 18-year-old, was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2014 in Ferguson, Mo.

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Crump has also represented the families of Stephon Clark and Terence Crutcher, both also black and unarmed. Clark, 22, was fatally shot earlier this year by officers in the backyard of his grandparents’ home in Sacramento, Calif. Crutcher, 40, was shot and killed by a white police officer in 2016 in Tulsa, Okla.

According to police, Guyger shot and killed Jean after returning in uniform to the South Side Flats, where they both had apartments, following her shift. She reported the shooting to dispatchers and she told officers who responded that she had mistaken Jean’s apartment for her own.

Hall said Guyger’s blood was drawn at the scene so that it could be tested for alcohol and drugs. Investigators haven’t released the results of those tests.


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