The grand jury of Dallas County has indicted an off-duty officer for fatally shooting a man in his own apartment.
Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was charged with manslaughter after shooting 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean to death in September. However, the victim’s family were seeking murder charges for the death of their son.
The 12-person grand jury began the hearing for Jean’s case on Monday, Nov. 26 and announced its decision on Friday, Nov. 30, CBS 11 reported. Attorneys representing the victim’s family appeared uneasy on Wednesday by the length of the jury’s decision. They stated if a murder indictment was not returned by the grand jury they planned on asking newly-elected DA John Creuzot to reconsider the decision.
(photo credit: Dallas Sheriff’s Office)
Guyger was arrested three days after Jean’s death on Sept. 24. She was released from jail on a $300,000 bond almost an hour after turning herself in.
Jean, a recent graduate of Harding University was unarmed in his apartment when Guyger shot him to death. The officer claimed she mistook the victim’s unit for hers after reportedly parking on the wrong garage level at the complex. She fired her firearm at Jean because she thought he was an intruder according to the police report.
The Dallas cop was not fired initially, but after the case drew widespread criticism, she was terminated from the Dallas Police Department on Sept. 24.
The lawsuit claims that Guyger had a history of excessive force and violence. It also added that the Dallas Police Department “has a pattern, practice, history, and custom of using excessive force against minorities.”
“By simply following proper police procedures and the best police practices and not the protocol of the DPD to ‘shoot first and ask questions later,’ Defendant Guyger would have not shot Jean,” the family states in the lawsuit. “Essentially, Officer Guyger was ill-trained, and as a result, defaulted to the defective DPD policy: to use deadly force even when there exists no immediate threat of harm to themselves or others.”
Before Guyger was indicted for murder, Allison Jean, the victim’s mother told WFAA on Sunday that she and her family are still looking for answers.
“You see, the one person who cannot speak is Botham,” she expressed. “He’s the one that I would have depended on for the answers.”