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National Commentary

Shooting Investigation Continues As Dallas Police Officer Is Fired

DALLAS

The Dallas Police Department announced the termination of Police Officer Amber Guyger on Twitter on Sept. 24, after she fatally shot 26-year-old Botham Jean inside his Cedars apartment on Sept. 6.
Guyger was fired for “adverse conduct” and is facing a manslaughter charge, according to The Dallas Morning News. Guyger said she mistakenly entered Jean’s apartment thinking it was her own and believed Jean, who was unarmed, was a burglar. She was arrested more than two weeks ago, is free on bond, and has been on administrative leave since the shooting.

Widespread public criticism came on the heels of the shooting. Her employment status even became an issue in the U.S. Senate race between Sen. Ted Cruz and Rep. Beto O’Rourke.
About an hour into a City Council Public Safety and Criminal Justice Committee hearing on Sept. 24, Police Chief U. Renee Hall said she had fired Guyger.
Police said in a news release that Hall fired Guyger after an internal investigation found the officer had engaged in “adverse conduct” when she was charged with manslaughter.

Guyger is allowed to appeal the decision under civil service rules, police said.
On Sept. 24, Hall said police were notified that a “critical portion” of the criminal investigation – the part that she said could’ve been compromised by an internal investigation – had concluded over the weekend.
“As a police chief, my job is to ensure the highest level of integrity in this investigation, and that is what I did,” she said. “I waited until the critical portion of this investigation was complete.”
The Dallas Police Association declined comment on the firing, citing the ongoing investigation that is being done by the Texas Rangers. The Dallas County District Attorney’s office is also conducting its own probe of the fatal shooting.

Jean’s death has outraged members of the Dallas community and the Caribbean community in Dallas.

Meanwhile, civil rights attorney Lee Merritt accused the police of trying to besmirch Jean by searching his home for drugs and other illegal items after he was dead. Investigators later said in a court document that they found 10.4 grams of marijuana.

Jean worked in risk assurance at Price Waterhouse Cooper and was a graduate of a private Christian university.

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