Desire For Retaliation and A Tragic Mistake Lead To Injustice

Guyger Convicted of Murder After Mistaken Entry Into Neighbor’s Apartment

A jury convicted Amber Guyger of Murder earlier this week after the former police officer mistakenly entered the wrong apartment and shot Botham Jean, the unarmed black man who lived there. She indicated that she thought that he was a burglar in her own unit. Truly tragic, but is this justice run amuck or even an outsized case of general retaliation and political correctness?

Unjust All The Way Around

Bothman Jean
Tragically Shot By Mistake, Another Injustice

Ok, I get it, this should not have happened and resulted in the tragic and unjust death of a good man. Still, it is hard to believe that this apparent mistake would result in a Murder conviction.

Is there something that we don’t know? Did Ms. Guyger know the man and have something against him? Did she just decide one evening to go upstairs to an apartment in her building and kill someone?

Factors Leading To Retaliatory Conviction

Mistake notwithstanding, it appears that prosecutors pinned much of their case on 4 factors:
1. They found racist sounding messages on her phone.
2. She apparently did not see or notice a red mat outside Jean’s door.
3. She did not follow police protocol, which apparently called for her to take cover and seek back-up on the scene of a break-in.
4. Although she immediately summoned medical help, she did not administer CPR for very long, stepped outside to call in the paramedics, did not use her 1st aid kit, and called her partner with whom she was having a romantic relationship.

Reasonable Doubt – Ignored In Favor or Retaliation

While all of the above may very well be true, there is no apparent evidence suggesting that Guyger did this on purpose. It sure looks more like a terrible mistake.

Perhaps the jury might have even guessed that she could have done it on purpose, however there seems to be no compelling evidence to this effect. Moreover it seems like there would have been plenty of reasonable doubt to convict on a lesser charge. Perhaps Manslaughter???

Retaliation or Justice

In the end one has to wonder if, in this particular case, the conviction has more to do with political correctness and a desire to generally retaliate against perceived past police transgressions related to people of color than fairness. (See attached WSJ article describing the scene and courtroom reactions).

Retaliation is not a substitute for justice.

Postscript

Act of True Compassion
Guyer Gets Hug From Victim’s Brother

In an inspiring act of true compassion, Brandt Jean, the victim’s younger brother, hugged Guyger after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison, saying that he would forgive her and wished her no ill.

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2 thoughts on “Desire For Retaliation and A Tragic Mistake Lead To Injustice

  1. Ok. So I open the door, walk into “my” apartment, see a stranger (of a different race) there so I assume he broke into my apartment. Being a highly trained police person I pull my gun and shoot and kill the guy. Forget what happens next. Think for a minute about what already has happened. Have I ever previously accidentally walked into another person’s apartment? Is the apartment door the same as mine? Does the door open in the same direction as mine. When I enter my home I have habits I usually follow. As I open the door I’m always staring at the same picture on the wall, the same piece of furniture in the room, etc. The lighting is as I always left it. The smells are always the same, I move about without obstruction of any kind because I’ve done it so many times everything is instinctive. And it goes on and on and on. But nothing “routine” occurred for this lady. The door mat was different, as soon as she opened the door the sights, smells, sounds were all wrong. Trained to listen and observe in situations like this she did nothing of the sort. Her “instincts” about her surroundings apparently were deaf, dumb, and blind until she saw the unarmed black man and “instinctively” assumed he broke into her apartment (still apparently seeming no different to her than her own), so fearing for her life she pulls a gun and kills the “intruder.” Was it only after she pulled the trigger that something inside her said, “this place doesn’t look, feel, smell, etc., like my apartment. Uh, oh, I walked into the wrong apartment?” A man is dead because he was guilty of doing nothing except living life behind the closed door of his own home when an intruder barged uninvited into his life and shot him dead because he was a black man “innocently and mistakenly” judged to be in the wrong place at the wrong time. Seriously? In ten years at most the murderer will be set free to go forward and rebuild her life. The man she murdered will still be dead never to return to this side of eternity again. If she were a black “he” and he was a “white she” something tells me “he” would have gotten life without parole. So why didn’t she?

    1. Thanks for the comment, CL. We respectfully disagree w your assessment of what would have happened had the situation been reversed. Actually, we believe that in such case Mr Jean would have likley been charged w Manslaughter vs Murder, which, in our view would have been more appropriate.

      I just cannot believe that she just, decided, one eve that she would run upstairs and murder someone. That seems much more far fetched than going into wrong apartment.

      Note, none of this makes what happed anything but wrong and a tragedy.

      Chris

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