An attorney for Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger has spoken out against the cop's termination, saying her firing by the department's police chief was premature and politically driven.
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall handed Guyger her pink slip on Monday, saying an internal investigation found that the officer had "engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for manslaughter."
Guyger was arrested after fatally shooting 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean on Sept. 6. Guyger claims she mistakenly entered Jean's apartment, thinking it was her own, and killed the man because she believed he was an intruder.
But witnesses and the victim's family dispute parts of Guyger's story, and a criminal investigation into the incident is ongoing.
Following Guyger's firing, her attorney, Robert Rodgers, issued a statement saying, "What happened on September 6th was a tragic mistake and words can never express our sorrow for the pain being suffered by those who knew and loved Botham Jean. Amber Guyger is completely devastated by what happened.
"Unfortunately," he continued, "today Chief Hall bowed to pressure from anti-police groups and took action before all the facts had been gathered and due process was afforded. That's not the way our system of justice should work. It is important for all parties and the integrity of the justice system that a full and fair investigation be allowed to reach its conclusion before decisions such as this are made."
What about the firing?
Chief Hall had been under pressure to fire Officer Guyger sooner than she did, forcing the chief to explain in a statement last week that "As an employer, DPD can compel Officer Guyger to provide a statement during a DPD administrative investigation and those statements given to DPD could potentially compromise the criminal investigation. That is not a risk I am willing to take."
Rodgers isn't the only one accusing Hall of jumping the gun by terminating Guyger. Dallas Police Association President Michael Mata was also critical of the chief on Monday, saying he was "perturbed" by the officer's firing.
"Four days ago, she said she couldn't fire her because of the investigation, and now, four days later, you can?" Mata told the Dallas Morning News. "Just be honest with the public. There is a process in place that not only affords an officer due process but allows the department to have security if and when an officer attempts to get their job back."