DALLAS (CN) – The parents of an unarmed black man shot and killed after a Dallas cop apparently mistook his apartment for her own sued the officer Friday, claiming he was subjected to excessive force and that her social media posts indicate violent behavior.
Bertrum and Allison Jean, of St. Lucia, sued Amber Guyger, 30, and the city in Dallas federal court. They say the wrongful death of Botham Jean, 26, was the result of a violation of his civil rights.
Guyger turned herself in on Sept. 9 after being charged with manslaughter and is free on $300,000 bond. Three days earlier, she entered Jean’s apartment, which was one floor below her apartment at the South Side Flats luxury apartment complex south of downtown Dallas.
Still in her uniform, Guyger allegedly gave commands to a figure in the unlit apartment before opening fire, striking Jean in the chest.
Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall fired Guyger two weeks later after an internal investigation.
According to the 28-page complaint, Jean’s parents dispute claims that Guyger did not realize she was in the wrong apartment until after she shot their son and turned on the lights.
“Defendant Guyer, allegedly entered her key fob into the key hole of Jean’s apartment,” the complaint states. “The door would not have produced the identical chime defendant Guyger hears daily at her apartment, which would indicate to a reasonable police officer that she had entered her key into the wrong keyhole if that is indeed what happened. In fact, the light above the keyhole would have flashed red, indicating to defendant Guyger that her key did not match the lock she was then attempting to access.”
Represented by Daryl K. Washington in Dallas, the family claims that after shooting Jean in the chest, Guyger called her attorney and 911.
“In an attempt to cover-up for shooting Jean, defendant Guyger allegedly made certain comments to Jean, knowing she was being recorded, who was then still suffering from the gunshot wound to his chest and in a great deal of pain,” the complaint states. “At no time did defendant Guyger attempt to render emergency aid to Jean or take any lifesaving measures. Jean was allowed to remain on the ground as he struggled to survive in extreme pain.”
His parents claim the subsequent homicide investigation by the Dallas Police Department was racked with “bias, partiality and a lack of thoroughness” to cover up Guyger’s actions. They say detectives sought warrants for Jean’s apartment “with the specific intent of discovering evidence of illegality” on his part to justify the shooting.
“Anonymous police sources offered to media that the physical evidence at the crime scene substantiated defendant Guyger’s version of events before conducting a thorough investigation,” the complaint states. “On the day of Jean’s memorial, media published a warrant affidavit DPD investigators failed to seal indicating drugs and drug paraphernalia was recovered from the home of the decedent, all designed to protect defendant Guyger.”
The city attorney’s office did not immediately respond Friday to an email request for comment.
Jean’s family claims Guyger’s Pinterest social media account indicates she is a “dangerous individual with highly violent and anti-social propensities.”
They cite posts allegedly by Guyger that state, “Personally I think I deserve a medal for getting through this week without stabbing someone in the neck with a fork”; “People are so ungrateful. No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them”; and, “I wear all black to remind you not mess with me, because I’m already dressed for your funeral.”
Guyger was never reprimanded for the social media posts even though they violated department policy, according to the lawsuit.
Jean’s parents seek actual and punitive damages for wrongful death and violations of his Fourth Amendment rights.