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Former Dallas Officer Amber Guyger found guilty of murdering unarmed black man in his own home
Image source: MSNBC vide screenshot

Former Dallas Officer Amber Guyger found guilty of murdering unarmed black man in his own home

Botham Jean was eating ice cream and watching TV when Guyger burst into his home and killed him

A Texas jury found former Dallas police Officer Amber Guyger guilty of the murder of a neighbor, Botham Jean. Guyger is white, and Jean was black, leading to questions about whether this was a case of excessive use of force by police against black citizens.

What happened?

Guyger and Jean lived the same apartment complex but on different floors. On Sept. 6, 2018, Guyger got home from work, went to Jean's floor, and forced her way into his apartment. She had reportedly just finished a 13 1/2 hour shift at work and claimed she thought she was entering her own apartment.

Jean was inside eating ice cream and watching television when Guyger spotted him and shot him. She admitted that she did not give him adequate CPR after the shooting because she was using one hand to hold her phone and call 911, and because she was shaken by the incident.

Guyger insisted that she believed the 26-year-old Jean was a burglar and that she gave him "verbal commands" that he ignored. A coroner determined that Jean was either cowering or in the process of rising from the couch when he was shot and killed.

Prosecutors said that Guyger should have noticed that she wasn't in her own apartment and that Jean did not present a threat.

Guyger's defense team pointed to the fact that she had parked on the the fourth floor of the apartment complex's parking garage that day, rather than the third floor where she lived, potentially leading to confusion about which floor she was on inside the building.

Guyger was fired from the Dallas Police Department almost three weeks after the killing.

What else?

On Tuesday, the jury reached their verdict and found Guyger guilty of murder. The trial had lasted a week, but it took the jury less than a day to reach their decision. The punishment phase of the trial was scheduled to begin Tuesday afternoon. She could face up to life in prison.

Had they been unable to convict Guyger of murder, the jury would have considered a manslaughter charge, which would have carried a lesser sentence.

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