The Guyger Effect
There are three groups of people who avoid calling the cops like the plague. These groups are black people, poor whites and people who speak English as a second language. Many police departments have ticket quotas which mean being required to write a certain number of tickets in a month. Instead of focusing on individual infractions many officers assert their authority onto individuals that are less likely to question their motives or those that have been dehumanized or demonized by society. If an officer is busy giving Keisha a ticket for a cracked windshield, air freshener hanging from the rear view mirror or a dealer installed license plate frame that covers too much of the plate, when Jim drives 20 miles over the speed limit that goes unchecked.
When we heard the story of an intoxicated officer named Amber Guyger going home to the wrong apartment and killing Botham Jean in his own living quarters after thinking he was an intruder in her home we were floored. The questions that came to mind were . . . What kind of shit is that? How can you mistake someone else’s apartment for yours? How Sway? How did she enter his apartment? Did she break in and kill him?
Several stories surfaced on the internet in the three days that passed before Guyger was booked on manslaughter charges. One story stated the officer was fiddling with the lock, the victim opened the door and Guyger shot Jean. Another story was that the officer was romantically involved with Jean, he wouldn’t let her in and when he finally opened the door she shot him. The third story coming from Guyger states the door was open and the lights were off when she shot Botham Jean who was only wearing underwear at the time. The excerpt below comes from a dallasnews.com article updated just last night.
One attorney, Lee Merritt, said two independent witnesses had come forward to say they heard knocking on the door in the hallway before the shooting. Merritt said one witness reported hearing a woman’s voice saying, “Let me in, let me in.” Then they heard gunshots, he said.
We live in a world of fabricated facts, where what can be proven and how a person is charged determines punishment for the exact same crime. If the door was unlocked and pushed open like the officer claimed, in many other states that is considered breaking and entering which is a felony. If someone is killed during the commission of the crime that’s considered felony murder and in the state of Texas would warrant a capital murder charge. Unfortunately, in Texas there is no B and E law. In Texas a person who unlawfully enters someone’s home can be charged with either burglary or criminal trespass. Burglary is a felony. Criminal trespass is a misdemeanor. The only thing that separates one charge from the other is intent which often times cannot be proven.
In a justice system that is supposed to be blind, the intentional overcharging of black and brown people has run amuck, while whites committing the same crimes get slaps on the wrist. When you combine white skin with a police uniform that damn near creates a vibranium shield. If this police officer does not get a significant sentence, what stops another police officer from committing a similar act against its white citizens?
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