Finally, some justice for Botham Jean.
When jurors returned a murder conviction Tuesday against now-fired Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger for shooting Jean in his own apartment, they took a giant step toward restoring this community’s trust that even police officers will be held accountable for their actions.
We’ve said from the beginning of this tragic case that nothing was more important for this city and for this country than for Guyger to receive a fair trial. Jean’s family—and all of us—needed to have all the facts thoroughly examined to get to the bottom of exactly what happened that horrific night he was killed.
Jurors have now done that.
Emotions have understandably run high throughout this trial and in the months since Guyger shot Jean last Sept. 6 thinking he was an intruder after she mistook his apartment for her own. That Jean was an innocent young black man killed by a white officer created a racially charged environment rooted in decades of history in Dallas—and this country.
But it is important for this case to be judged on its own merits.
We’re on record with our worries that Dallas District Attorney John Creuzot took a big risk in charging Guyger with murder rather than manslaughter. Creuzot and his prosecutors pointed out that Guyger didn’t accidentally discharge her weapon. She intended to shoot Jean. Manslaughter calls for a determination of recklessness.
The jury agreed with Creuzot that murder was the right charge.
Still, we believe there is room for sympathy for Guyger, whose life as she knew it is ruined. She tearfully apologized for her actions as she testified in her defense.
She made an unthinkable and senseless mistake that cut short the promise of a remarkable life for a 26-year-old man. It is just that she suffer the consequences.
Nothing will bring Jean back to his family. But this verdict should give them, Dallas and this country some solace that our system values the lives of innocent citizens.
Print Headline: OTHERS SAY Dallas jury fosters trust