A police officer in Dallas, Texas killed 26-year-old Botham Jean in his own home, who was unarmed and nonviolent, allegedly believing he was an intruder.
The Dallas Morning News reported that the white off-duty officer, a five-year veteran of the department whose name has not yet been revealed, walked into Jean’s apartment, thinking it was her own. When she saw Jean, she immediately shot him.
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall said during a press conference that it’s not clear what happened in the lead-up to the shooting, but that the original “officer-involved shooting” investigation was suspended and the Texas Rangers have since been called in to conduct an independent investigation into Botham Jean’s death. Hall also said she has requested an arrest warrant for manslaughter.
Jean was killed at the South Side Flats apartment complex not far from downtown Dallas, and apparently just a few blocks away from the Dallas Police Department headquarters. Intercept columnist and Black Lives Matter activist Shaun King tweeted that Botham Jean was an analyst for PriceWaterhouseCoopers and a worship leader at his church. The Morning News reported that Jean was a native of the island of St. Lucia.
A BRILLIANT young man. Analyst for Price Waterhouse Cooper. A worship leader at church.
Murdered by the @DallasPD this morning.
Unarmed, non-violent. IN HIS OWN HOME.
Cop says she walked into the wrong apartment instead of her own. Thought he was an intruder. pic.twitter.com/HYgLgagPsK
— Shaun King (@shaunking) September 7, 2018
After Jean was shot, the officer called 911, and first responders arrived within four minutes. Jean was eventually driven to Baylor University Medical Center after paramedics performed first aid, where doctors pronounced him dead.
Chief Hall said she had spoken to Botham Jean’s family and assured them the department was “working diligently” to investigate Jean’s death.
“It just feels like a nightmare. I wish I could wake up,” Botham Jean’s mother, Allison, said in an interview with NBC Dallas-Fort Worth. “I don’t want to judge [the officer]. We are Christians. We forgive. But I need to look into her eyes and ask her why did she do that to my son.”
“She took away my heart. My soul. He didn’t deserve to die,” she added.
Watch Chief Hall’s statement on Jean’s death below:
Jake Shepherd is a freelance writer from Cleveland, Ohio. He enjoys poring through financial disclosure statements, spirited debate, and good scotch. He remains eternally optimistic about the Browns. Email him at jake.d.shepherd.21 (at) hotmail (dot) com.