Folks are outraged over the release of search warrants revealing marijuana was found inside Botham Jean‘s apartment, fueling accusations of police trying to criminalize the victim.
According to FOX 4, multiple search warrants were executed inside Jean’s apartment at the South Side Flats following his shooting death at the hands of Dallas Officer Amber Guyger. Guyger, who reportedly had just finished a 15-hour shift, shot and killed the 26-year-old inside his apartment after supposedly mistaking it for her own.
The officer is now facing manslaughter charges.
Lawyers for Jean’s family are incensed that the documents were released on the same day of Jean’s funeral. One of the documents was made public Thursday afternoon, just as the funeral was wrapping up after the document was returned to the judge who signed it, the station reported. The warrant listed several items found inside the apartment, including 10 grams of pot.
Among the other items yielded in the search were: two fired cartridge casings, a laptop, an insulated lunch box, two RFID keys, two used packages of medical supplies, and a metal marijuana grinder, among other things.
The document doesn’t say where the items were found or who they belonged to, however.
S. Lee Merritt, an attorney representing Jean’s family, was visibly frustrated by the revelation.
“I think it’s unfortunate that law enforcement begin to immediately criminalize the victim — in this case, someone who was clearly was the victim that has absolutely no bearing on the fact that he was shot in his home,” Merrit told FOX 4. “I would love to see more information coming out about the warrants executed on the home of the shooter who lived just below him. I haven’t seen any of those.”
The American Civil Liberties Union agreed, calling the release of the documents an “attack on an innocent man who was killed by a cop for simply existing in his own home.”
“Botham Jean should still be alive and Black. Lives. Matter,” the organization tweeted.
Social media critics echoed similar outrage and wondered what bearing the marijuana, if it even belonged to Jean, had on the fact that he was killed. Many criticized the warrant as an attempt to smear Jean’s character.
@DallasPD and fuck @Fox4 for rolling with this headline,” journalist Shaun King tweeted. “ #BothamJean is the VICTIM. He was shot and killed in his own apartment. WHAT WAS FOUND IN AMBER GUYGER’S APARTMENT? IN HER CAR? PURSE? Why’s Botham being treated like the perpetrator of a crime here?”
Of the warrant, writer Kashana Cauley wrote, “His (Jean’s) apartment also contained an off-duty, homicidal cop.”
“The posthumous smearing of
#BothamJean by the police represents both how deliberate the police are in ensuring black victims of police violence are seen as inferior and also their confidence in the general public buying the narrative,” Jordan Uhl chimed in.
According to FOX 4, Guyger consented to a blood draw the night of the deadly shooting. Toxicology reports for both her and Jean are still underway.
Watch more in the clip below.