Dallas’ Chief Of Police Said She’s Got More Questions Than Answers Surrounding Her Department’s Latest Investigation. Here Are Some We’d Like Answered, Too.
Update at 8:45 p.m. on Sunday, September 9: After a warrant was issued for her arrest on charges of manslaughter, Guyger turned herself in to authorities on Sunday night. Original post follows.
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OK, deep breaths.
Now that we’ve got a semblance of an idea — maybe — as to what the hell’s going on with the death of the 26-year-old black man Botham Jean, who was killed in his own home by a uniformed, off-duty, white female Dallas police officer, let’s just move right on to the many obvious questions surrounding this tragedy (and the bizarre start to its investigation by the Dallas Police Department).
Because we’ve got a lot of those. Don’t you?
Well, here are the ones at the forefront of our minds:
- What. The. Actual. Fuck?
- How does something like this happen in the first place?
- What brought things to this point, where the Dallas Police Department finds itself embroiled in a situation that sounds like it was ripped right from a Dave Chappelle bit that was obviously meant to be satire?
- Does the DPD even realize what a bad look this is?
- After first catching wind of this news, was anyone surprised to later learn that the victim was a black man and the shooter was a white cop?
- Does DPD understand that horrors like these aren’t just ghouls of some national debate?
- Does DPD get that police brutality and officers of the law abusing their power is of paramount concern in our own backyard, too?
- Shouldn’t we all probably realize that, given that we’ve been at the center of this international discussion since July 7, 2016?
- Haven’t many other rational people been loudly and publicly complaining about these issues in Dallas since at least 1973?
- Does the department understand how frustrating it is to hear news along these lines at all?
- Does it realize that it somehow feels worse when news like this comes not two weeks after the guilty conviction of a suburban Dallas cop in the murder of an innocent 15-year-old child — for which the cop was only given a 15-year sentence?
- How do we feel about the narrative that DPD is already issuing as an excuse of sorts for what happened, that its department has been facing an abundance of known issues for some time now?
- Are we supposed to pity these officers?
- Should institutional and governmental mismanagement soften a blow such as this?
- How much leeway are we supposed to provide our police officers?
- Should we be OK with cops acting the way the cop who killed Jean acted on Thursday night?
- How do we feel about our police officers apparently having difficulty performing simple tasks such as remembering which apartment is theirs?
- Do we care at all if the cop might’ve been tired when she shot Jean?
- Does it matter the cop, who has since been identified as 30-year-old Amber Guyger, had just worked a 12-hour shift when she killed Jean?
- Does that somehow mean the city is complicit in the actions of a four-year veteran of the force?
- Are we really OK with using the “I was tired!” defense for all gun violence moving forward?
- Should the fact that Guyger is now reportedly an “emotional wreck” in the wake of the shooting make us feel remotely sympathetic for her?
- Is she an emotional wreck because she knew Jean personally on some level?
- Is the extent of their familiarity a bigger factor in this case than the public has yet been led to believe?
- Does the force at large feel sympathy for their colleague?
- Does Chief Renee Hall feel sympathy for her officer?
- How is Chief Hall handling this, the biggest media circus her department has faced (its public vice issues notwithstanding) since she took over for David Brown as the chief of police last year?
- What are we to make of the fact that, once it was called in, cops arrived on this scene with remarkable speed, at least as compared to other 911 calls?
- Why is so much about this case so confounding?
- Isn’t the messaging coming out of DPD a little confusing right now?
- This is big one: Why hasn’t Guyger been arrested yet? (See update at top of this post.)
- No, really: Why is the officer who killed Jean not in custody yet, at least in some capacity? (See update at top of this post.)
- Why hasn’t a goddamn warrant been issued? (See update at top of this post.)
- Why is there a debate over whether Jean’s death merits a murder or a manslaughter charge?
- What are we to make of the fact that Guyger fired upon a citizen in a 2017 officer-involved shooting?
- Is there anything to the fact that the man Guyger shot in 2017 is also a minority?
- OK, but for real, are we not giving enough emphasis to the fact that Guyger shot Jean while he was inside of his own home?
- Is the supposedly independent Texas Rangers investigation somehow to blame for the delay in the proceedings here?
- Is DPD somehow slowing the investigation down itself in an effort to take care of one of its own?
- Why the fuck is this process taking so long?
- Why does DPD consistently have timing issues when the public is watching and when race appears to be a factor?
- Are we wrong to assume that race was a factor in Jean’s death?
- If Jean were a young white woman instead of a black man, wouldn’t there already have been an arrest by now — or at least a warrant issued?
- If the situation were reversed, and Jean shot Guyger after walking into her home (accident or no), do you think DPD would’ve arrested him by now?
- If the situation were as stated in the previous question, would Jean still be awaiting a patient police force’s determination of the proper charge, almost a full 48 hours later, just as Guyger apparently still is?
- How vindictive do you think DPD would be toward Jean if his role were reversed Guyger’s here?
- Do you think he would still be alive in that continued hypothetical?
- Does any part of you wonder if the police would’ve already used a robot to kill Jean had the roles been reversed as stated?
- Because she lived in the same building as he, is there any chance Guyger gets off on some bullshit castle doctrine technicality?
- Most importantly: What assurance do we have that this sort of thing will not happen again?
We have more questions, but that above list is a solid start, we’d say. Maybe we’ll add some more to this list later.
Here’s one: HOW LONG UNTIL BOTHAM JEAN’S LOVED ONES GET JUSTICE? // Given How Slowly Dallas Pursues Its Cases Against Indicted Cops, Don’t Expect Amber Guyger’s Trial To Start Anytime Soon — Assuming There’s A Trial At All.
In the meantime, if you know the answers to any of these questions, then please, by all means, contact us. We’d really love to cross a few questions off this list.
Cover photo of the cop who shot Jean via an Instagram video allegedly taken in the apartment complex where the shooting took place, immediately after gunshots were heard.