Disgraced former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was convicted Tuesday of murder for killing Botham Jean, her unarmed neighbor, and could be sentenced to up to 99 years in prison.
The jury, made up of a diverse group of people according to a tweet from attorney S. Lee Meritt, took less than a day to deliberate the guilty verdict for the woman who callously took Jean’s life.
The guilty verdict came as a shock to many, including Jean’s family, because of the typical outcome in these types of cases. It was five days ago that Sacramento police officers were cleared of any wrongdoing in the shooting death of Stephon Clark, an innocent Black man gunned down by police in his grandmother’s backyard.
Guyger, who is white, testified that she entered the wrong apartment due to exhaustion and she thought Jean, 26, had burglarized her home. She claimed to have shot and killed him in self-defense on Sept. 6, 2018. Jean, who prosecutors say was home eating ice cream and watching television that night, never posed a threat to Guyger.
As the verdict was announced, cheers and applause erupted inside the courthouse. Jean’s family reacted joyously to the news. Outside the courtroom, the crowd could be heard chanting, “Black lives matter!”
Guyger left the courtroom in tears.
“This jury had to make history in America today because Botham was the best that we had to offer,” Jean family attorney Ben Crump, who represented Trayvon Martin’s family in his 2012 shooting death, said to reporters after the verdict. “Twenty-six-year-old, college-educated Black man, certified public accountant, working for one of the big three [sic] accounting firms in the world, PricewaterhouseCoopers.
“But it shouldn’t take all of that for unarmed Black and brown people in America to get justice.”
Despite Guyger’s numerous attempts to portray herself as less than a monster, our chairman Luke Visconti summed the case up best saying, “The cop murdered an accountant eating ice cream on his couch.”
Sentencing for the murder begins this afternoon.