Dallas police shooting: Search for marijuana in victim’s home was attempt to ‘smear’ him, attorneys say

By Meagan Flynn | The Washington Post

The family of Botham Jean, the unarmed black man who authorities say was fatally shot by a Dallas police officer inside his own apartment, spent Thursday celebrating his life. Hundreds of people filed into the Greenville Avenue Church of Christ in Richardson, Texas, to pay their respects at Jean’s funeral service, remembering the 26-year-old businessman as, what his friend Pastor Michael Griffin described him, “the light in a dark room.”

But then around 5 p.m., the family’s lawyers were alerted to some apparent breaking news in the investigation into Jean’s death.

“DEVELOPING,” read a tweet from the local Dallas Fox affiliate. “Search warrant: Marijuana found in Botham Jean’s apartment after deadly shooting.”

The news and the tweet, which received criticism online, had nothing to do with why Jean was killed the night of Sept. 6. But the situation was also familiar, another example of how unarmed black men who are victims in police shootings are defamed and made to look like criminals even in death as police investigations unfold, said attorney Lee Merritt, a civil rights attorney who represents Jean’s family.

“[Jean] was not only never convicted of a crime, he was never even accused of a crime, never arrested,” Merritt told The Washington Post. “It took a white Dallas police officer to break into his home and shoot him to death for him to become painted as a criminal.”

Can’t stop thinking about this.

A timely reminder that, while marijuana is now a million dollar industry for the some, it’s still used — even in death — to smear others https://t.co/7kUgzMWIMB

— Astead (@AsteadWesley) September 14, 2018

Not found in Botham Jean’s apartment: a reason for shooting Botham Jean in his own apartment. https://t.co/fvEXsM1zd4

— Frank Conniff (@FrankConniff) September 13, 2018

How is this germane to what happened? https://t.co/83LrJMHztu

— Dana Loesch (@DLoesch) September 13, 2018

This is an attack on an innocent man who was killed by a cop for simply existing in his own home. PERIOD.

Botham Jean should still be alive and Black. Lives. Matter. https://t.co/F5MFtHABzX

— ACLU (@ACLU) September 14, 2018

Dallas police officer Amber Guyger has been charged with manslaughter in Jean’s death after authorities say she entered Jean’s apartment – allegedly mistakenly believing it was her own – and fired on him. Guyger was in uniform and had just returned from a shift about 10 p.m.

Jean’s apartment was dark, she claimed, according to an arrest affidavit. She claimed she saw a “large silhouette” from across the room, believed it was a burglar and fired her gun twice, striking him in the torso and killing him, the arrest affidavit states.

On Thursday, multiple news outlets reported the results of a search warrant executed on Jean’s apartment. A judge authorized police to search for guns, fired cartridge casings, trace evidence such as blood, video surveillance and also “any contraband, such as narcotics,” according to the affidavit for a search warrant, which the Fort Worth Star-Telegram posted online.

Merritt said …read more

Source:: The Mercury News – Nation, World


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