DPD Fires Amber Guyger, Officer Who Killed Botham Jean

Demonstrators gather at a vigil for Botham Shem Jean at Dallas police headquarters.
Demonstrators gather at a vigil for Botham Shem Jean at Dallas police headquarters. Brian Maschino
Amber Guyger, the Dallas Police Department officer who shot and killed Botham Jean in Jean's apartment a little over two weeks ago, has been fired.

"Effective immediately, Amber Guyger is no longer with the Dallas Police Department. That decision and hearing was held this morning, at approximately 10 a.m.," police Chief U. Renee Hall said Monday. "As a police chief, it is my job to ensure the highest level of integrity in an investigation. That is what I did, and I waited until the critical portion of this investigation was completed. The investigation is ongoing, but the critical part where it could be compromised has been completed."

Last week, Hall said she'd not yet taken steps to fire Guyger because the chief worried that statements made by Guyger during a DPD administrative investigation could compromise the criminal investigation into the shooting. Guyger has been charged with manslaughter for killing Jean. She maintains she entered his apartment by mistake, believing it was her own, and shot Jean because she thought he was an intruder. Jean's apartment sat directly above Guyger's.  
click to enlarge Amber Renee Guyger's mugshot - KAUFMAN COUNTY
Amber Renee Guyger's mugshot
Kaufman County

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings commended Hall for her decision and her leadership.

"I have heard the calls for this action from many, including the Jean family, and I agree that this is the right decision in the interest of justice for Botham Jean and the citizens of Dallas," Rawlings said Monday afternoon. "The swift termination of any officer who engages in misconduct that leads to the loss of innocent life is essential if the Dallas Police Department is to gain and maintain the public trust. I know Chief Hall agrees with me on that, and I appreciate her leadership. Once again, she’s made the right call."

Jean's family, who has pushed for Guyger's firing since the shooting, had mixed emotions after Hall's decision.

“As Botham Shem Jean’s family has his home-going service in St. Lucia this week, this announcement of Amber Guyger’s termination from the Dallas Police Department is bittersweet for Botham’s family," the Jean family's attorneys, Ben Crump, Lee Merritt and Daryl Washington, said in a statement. "While nothing can bring him back, DPD’s firing of Guyger is the first step towards justice for Botham Shem Jean.”

Following Hall's decision to fire Guyger, the next shoe to drop in the case will be a grand jury decision. Following the completion of the Texas Rangers' and the Dallas County District Attorney's Office's investigations in the case, it will be up to a grand jury to decide whether to indict Guyger for murder, manslaughter or not at all.
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Stephen Young has written about Dallas news for the Observer since 2014. He's a Dallas native and a graduate of the University of North Texas.
Contact: Stephen Young