Botham Jean case draws attention from New York Times | Arkansas Blog

Saturday, September 15, 2018

Botham Jean case draws attention from New York Times

Posted By on Sat, Sep 15, 2018 at 11:00 AM

PROTEST: Demonstrators blocked I-30 in Dallas last night demanding justice in the unjustified shooting of Botham Jean.
  • PROTEST: Demonstrators blocked I-30 in Dallas last night demanding justice in the unjustified shooting of Botham Jean.

Page One in today's New York Times:
A roundup of the controversy that has arisen from a white police officer's shooting of Harding graduate Botham Jean, a black native of St. Lucia, in his own  Dallas apartment.

The article doesn't advance what's known about the shooting. It highlights the questions about officer Amber Guyger's account of events of that night.

The officer told investigators the door was slightly ajar and then fully opened when she inserted her computerized chip key; lawyers for Mr. Jean’s family said the door was closed. Officer Guyger said in court documents that when she opened the door, the apartment was dark and she saw a silhouette of someone she thought was a burglar. She said she shouted commands that were ignored. Neighbors, however, have told lawyers for Mr. Jean’s relatives that they heard someone banging on the door and shouting, “Let me in!” and “Open up!” before gunshots rang out. They said they then heard a man, presumably Mr. Jean, say, “Oh my God, why did you do that?”
We won't ever know for sure what happened, I fear. Jean, described as a friendly man with a big appetite, had texted his sister to say he was staying in to watch a football game on TV that night. My own unsupported speculation is that Guyger, who'd lived in the complex about two months, was confused and went to the wrong apartment, a floor above her own, after parking on the wrong level of the complex parking deck. Her key card didn't work. She heard sounds inside. She pounded on the door. A black man opened it. Then, rightly or wrongly, we're in the territory of instinctive reactions of white police officers to black people.

This much is clear to me: There is a reason football players kneel respectfully on the playing of the National Anthem. It is not out of disrespect for the country — certainly not of those who've served the country — but out of respect for a country's principles that don't extend to all in equal measure.

And I agree with the ACLU's post on the leak to smear Jean as a marijuana user, as if — even if true — that's relevant. And I wish the Times had delved into this report about Guyger and family.

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