- - Wednesday, October 2, 2019


It doesn’t matter what former Dallas cop Amber Guyger thought when she shot neighbor Botham Jean in 2018 (“Dallas jury convicts ex-cop in neighbor’s death,” Web, Oct. 1). Ignorance is no defense under the law. All that really mattered in deliberating this case was the fact that the apartment Guyger mistakenly walked into was not hers to defend.

If everyone in America could simply shoot someone based on what they thought and get away with it, we would all be dead by now. A not-guilty verdict would have unleashed a Pandora’s box of enormous proportions.

The castle doctrine, which holds that your home is your castle and you have the right to use lethal force to defend it, didn’t apply here. These kind of stand-your-ground laws have gone way too far by giving citizens what essentially amounts to a license to kill. Thankfully the Dallas jury got it right.

Now that Guyger has been found guilty of murder in the tragic death of Botham Jean, Jean’s family can put closure to this case, and to the notion of Jean becoming another unarmed black man killed by a white police officer without accountability.

This case warrants a true discussion about police killings of black men across the nation. It’s bad enough that police officers are killing people while on duty because of what they “thought” looked like a gun (but was really a wallet or a cellphone). Now, apparently, we have to worry about officers killing people off-duty, too.

I believe blue lives matter, but not at the expense of innocent people, especially black and brown ones. We seem to be the only ones losing our loved ones in these death-by-cops cases.



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