Oct 2, 2019

Dallas police officer who fatally shot neighbor sentenced to 10 years in prison

Allison Jean, mother of Botham Jean, at a press conference. Photo: Stewart F. House/Getty Images

A jury sentenced Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for fatally shooting 26-year-old Botham Jean, an unarmed black man, in his own downtown Dallas apartment, according to NBC News.

Why it matters: The Sept. 9, 2018, shooting sparked harsh criticism against the local police department as protestors highlighted the case as another instance of police using excessive and fatal force against African Americans. Guyger was facing a maximum sentence of 99 years.

Context: A jury found Guyger guilty of murder on Tuesday. She was originally charged with manslaughter, which is a second-degree felony in Texas and comes with a lesser charge.

  • Guyger, who was off-duty at the time of the shooting, said she was confused after a long shift and walked into Jean's apartment, which was below her own, thinking it was her home. She claims she thought Jean was an intruder and shot him.
  • Prosecutors argued Guyger was negligent because she was armed, distracted and too quick to draw and fire her weapon. They asked the jury to sentence her to at least 20 years.
  • After she was convicted, prosecutors introduced text messages from Guyger into the body of evidence. The texts included offensive statements about Martin Luther King Jr.’s death and black police officers.
  • While testifying, Guyger said, “I never wanted to take an innocent person’s life, and I’m so sorry. This is not about hate; it’s about being scared," per the Washington Post.
  • After the conviction on Tuesday, supporters shouted in the hallways of the courthouse: “Black lives matter.

Go deeper: Dallas police officer convicted of murder for killing black man in his own home

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Fort Worth officer responsible for Atatiana Jefferson shooting resigns

Fort Worth police officer Aaron Dean, who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, in her own home on Saturday morning, resigned Monday just hours before Interim Police Chief Ed Kraus planned to terminate his employment, NBC reports.

Background: Dean had been responding to a neighbor's call that stated Jefferson's front door was ajar. Jefferson was inside playing video games with her 8-year-old nephew when 2 officers went into her backyard. Body camera footage shows Dean shouted at Jefferson through a window to put her hands up without identifying himself as an officer. He proceeded to open fire through the window, killing Jefferson in one shot.

Go deeperArrowOct 14, 2019

Fort Worth police officer who shot Atatiana Jefferson charged with murder

Fort Worth, Texas, police officer Aaron Dean, who shot and killed Atatiana Jefferson, a 28-year-old black woman, in her home, was charged with murder Monday, the Fort Worth Police confirmed. Dean had resigned from his job hours earlier.

Go deeperArrowOct 15, 2019

Pete Buttigieg returning donation from Chicago attorney tied to murder case

Mayor Pete at an event in Georgia. Photo: Paras Griffin/WireImage via Getty Images

Mayor Pete Buttigieg is refunding a $5,600 donation from a former Chicago attorney who tried to block the release of a video showing a police officer fatally shooting 17-year-old Laquan McDonald.

Why it matters: The former city attorney, Steve Patton, was co-hosting a Buttigieg event, the Associated Press reported earlier today. After Axios reached out for comment, his campaign said Patton is no longer attending or co-hosting that event, which was scheduled for tonight, and he's refunding all donations previously received from Patton.

Go deeperArrowOct 18, 2019