Dallas, Texas–The family of Botham Jean, as well as the public, rejoiced yesterday when a Texas jury found Amber Guyger guilty in the killing of 26-year-old Botham Jean.
Today, Guyger was handed a fairly light sentence of 10 years in prison. She will be eligible for parole in five years.
Guyger, a former Dallas Police officer, says she shot Botham thinking he was an intruder after coming home and finding him in what she believed to be her apartment.
After the shooting, Guyger says she realized she was in the wrong apartment.
This case has so many unanswered questions. Especially, how could a police officer, whose main duties are to be observant, kill a man in his own apartment thinking it was hers?
Many believe that Guyger and Jean must have known each other prior to the shooting.
During the trial, it was revealed that Guyger was having an affair with her married patrol partner. When Guyger got off work that evening, she was texting her partner explicit photos and text messages, arranging to meet up that night.
During the trial, racial text messages and violent memes she posted online about killing people were shown to the jury.
Among the text messages shown to the jury, were text where Guyger joked about pepper-spraying MLK parade marchers, and well as mocking MLK’s death.
“When does this end lol,” read a text to Guyger.
“When MLK is dead… oh wait…” She responded.
“Just push them… or spray your pepper spray in that general area,” she said in a text while discussing the crowd at the parade.
Another text message thread timestamped days before Guyger would fatally shoot Jean in his apartment, shows her claiming to be racist.
“Although she may be racist,” the dog’s owner messaged Guyger. “It’s okay.. I’m the same,” Guyger responded. “I hate everything and everyone but y’all,” she later messaged in the same thread.
This fairly light sentence handed down by the state of Texas is not a victory for Botham Jean’s family, or any of those killed by police.
When Guyger was found guilty yesterday and prior to sentencing, Attorney Benjamin Crump relayed this was a victory for cases like Tamir Rice and Trayvon Martin. Cases where their murderers never served prison time for taking their lives.
This ruling is a slap in the face for Black America, the same slap we have received under America’s court of law since we found ourselves surviving under white supremacy. 10-years for murdering a man in his apartment is disrespectful on all levels.