White Police Officer Charged After Shooting Dead Negro Man In Flat She Thought Was Hers
26-year-old Botham Jean, who was black, was taken to a hospital and pronounced dead.
DALLAS TEXAS- A white Dallas police officer who shot dead a black man in a flat she said she mistook for her own will be charged with manslaughter.
It was not clear what the officer may have said to 26-year-old Botham Jean after entering his home late on Thursday. But given what investigators currently know about the case, they decided to pursue the manslaughter charge, authorities said.
“Right now, there are more questions than we have answers,” Police Chief Renee Hall told a news conference. She said she spoke to Mr Jean’s sister to express the department’s condolences to the family.
According to police, the officer returned home in her uniform after her shift. She called dispatch to report that she had shot a man, and she later told the officers who responded that she believed the victim’s apartment was her own when she entered it.
The responding officers administered first aid to Mr Jean, a native of the Caribbean island country of St Lucia who attended college in Arkansas and worked for accounting and consulting firm PwC. Mr Jean was taken to a hospital, where he died.
Ms Hall said the officer’s blood was drawn to be tested for drugs and alcohol. She declined to speculate as to whether fatigue or other factors, including race, may have factored into the shooting. She also said the Texas Rangers will conduct an independent investigation.
Authorities have not said how the officer got into Mr Jean’s home, or whether his door was open or unlocked. The block of flats is just a few streets from Dallas police headquarters.
Residents of the building said they can access their units with a key or through a keypad code.
Jeffrey Scherzer, who lives at the complex, said when he returned home late at night an officer escorted him to his flat and warned him to steer clear of a blood trail.
Two women who live on the second floor near where the shooting happened said they heard a lot of noise late on Thursday.
“It was, like, police talk: ‘Open up! Open up!’” 20-year-old Caitlin Simpson told The Dallas Morning News.
Yazmine Hernandez, 20, was studying with Ms Simpson when they heard the commotion.
“We heard cops yelling, but otherwise had no idea what was going on,” Ms Hernandez said.
Mr Jean grew up in St Lucia and attended Harding University in Searcy, Arkansas, where he majored in accounting and information systems and often led campus worship services before graduating in 2016, the school said in a statement.
That July, he went to work for PwC in risk assurance. The company said in a statement: “We are simply heartbroken to hear of his death.”