Amber Guyger Trial: Guilty Verdict Sends Social Media Into an Uproar

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.

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.

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.

0comments

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.”