Social media went into a tizzy Tuesday afternoon after a Texas jury found former Dallas policewoman Amber Guyger guilty of murder for the killing of Botham Jean, her unarmed, 26-year-old black neighbor. The murder conviction carries a sentence of up to life in prison.
Guyger, 31, was indicted last year after fatally shooting Jean in his apartment, which she said she mistook as her own after a long shift. Jurors, who took less than 24 hours to reach a verdict, were given the option of finding Guyger guilty of the lesser offense of manslaughter.
Many Twitter users took to the social media platform to react to the guilty verdict.
Amber Guyger has been found guilty of the murder of Botham Jean.
What the family has said is that what they would prefer is for their dear son to be alive, but this small semblance of justice matters for them, and for all of us.
Dallas: You got this right.
THANK YOU. pic.twitter.com/Gcj3fr769w— Shaun King (@shaunking) October 1, 2019
On behalf of the family of Botham Shem Jean, thank you Dallas County for delivering the proper murder conviction of Amber Guyger. Botham did not deserve to die. His family deserved justice. pic.twitter.com/zHdYRINKhN— S. Lee Merritt, Esq. (@MeritLaw) October 1, 2019
It's good that Amber Guyger was found guilty of a murder she clearly committed, but the fact that it was even within the realm of possibility that she'd get away with this is heartbreaking and infuriating.— Charlotte Clymer🏳️🌈 (@cmclymer) October 1, 2019
Guyger testified that she parked on the wrong floor of the Dallas apartment complex where she lived on Sept. 6, 2018. She then walked to the apartment directly above hers — which belonged to Jean — and fired when she encountered him eating ice cream on his couch, CBS News reports.
The jury began deliberating in the murder trial on Monday, the same day that the defense rested its case. Guyger stood and stared at the panel as Dallas County District Court Judge Tammy Kemp read the guilty verdict. The family members of Jean burst into tears as the verdict was read.
Guyger, who was fired from the Dallas Police Department days after the shooting, testified during the trial, breaking down on the witness stand on Friday, saying she believed she had entered her own home and thought that the man she encountered was going to kill her. "I hate that I have to live with this every single day of my life," she said.
Justice (n): Just behavior or treatment.
Just treatment is #BothamJean being safe in his own home. Just treatment is Black bodies not being treated like a weapon. Just treatment is respect for our humanity.
Amber Guyger was merely held accountable. I said what I said. https://t.co/uiTXqGXIBh— THIS IS A MAXINE WATERS STAN ACCOUNT (@MsPackyetti) October 1, 2019
Guyger called 911 after shooting Jean, but prosecutors argued that she did not render adequate aid nor did she use the first aid supplies in her work bag. Guyger said she performed first aid on Jean, according to an affidavit.
Video from body camera footage showed police trying to save Jean's life as he lay bleeding from a gunshot wound on the floor. The video was played without the jury in a discussion of evidentiary matters, but it sent Jean's parents, Allison and Bertrum, as well as other family members and friends, walking out of the courtroom.
“Nothing will bring Botham back, but today his family has found some measure of justice," Ben Crump, a lawyer for Jean's family, said in a statement. "What happened on September 6, 2018, is clear to everyone: This officer saw a black man and shot, without reason and without justification. The jury’s thoughtful verdict sets a powerful precedent for future cases, telling law enforcement officers that they cannot hide behind the badge but instead will face justice for their wrongful actions.”