Amber Guyger, the Dallas police officer who fatally shot Botham Shem Jean in his own apartment on Sept. 6, was fired Monday during an internal disciplinary hearing, the Dallas Police Department announced.
“An Internal Affairs investigation concluded that on September 9, 2018, Officer Guyger ... engaged in adverse conduct when she was arrested for Manslaughter,” Dallas police Chief U. Reneé Hall said in a written statement that was shared on Twitter. “Officer Guyger was terminated for her actions ... Under civil service rules, Officer Guyger has the right to appeal her discipline.”
Guyger’s termination comes 18 days after she shot and killed Jean, who was black, unarmed and inside his residence at Dallas’ South Side Flats apartment complex.
Authorities said Guyger, 30, was returning home from a 15-hour patrol shift around 10 p.m. Sept. 6 when she parked her vehicle on the wrong level of the parking garage outside the complex, where she and Jean both lived. Guyger’s apartment sits one floor below Jean’s.
Moments after parking, Guyger entered Jean’s apartment, allegedly thinking it was her own, and shot the occupant, who she thought was a burglar, according to investigators. Three days later, Guyger was booked on manslaughter charges and was released on $300,000 bond within hours of entering Kaufman County Jail.
During a conference call Monday morning, Hall told Jean’s parents, Allison and Bertram Jean, that Dallas police had delayed disciplining Guyger to avoid violating the officer’s due process rights.
“Specifically, [Hall] explained that a premature administrative suspension could have possibly implicated Guyger’s Fifth Amendment protections and compromised the criminal prosecution,” Lee Merritt, the attorney representing Jean’s family, said via text message Monday.
According to Merritt, the decision to fire Guyger was relayed to Jean’s family on Sunday. The slain 26-year-old’s parents “expressed satisfaction” with the move. Jean’s family attended his funeral Monday in St. Lucia, the Caribbean nation from which he hails.
Jean had no criminal record. Those closest to him say he was a devout Christian who participated in campus ministry programs at Harding University in Arkansas before moving to Dallas, where he worked as a risk assurance associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers.
Merritt said Guyger’s firing is the first step in achieving justice for Jean, whose parents plan to sue the Dallas Police Department over their son’s death.
“Our office continues to conduct its parallel investigation into this matter as we prepare a ... civil rights action against Guyger and the city of Dallas for the wrongful death of Mr. Jean,” Merritt said.
Sept. 24, 2018, 2:03 p.m. Eastern: This story had been updated.