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Dallas police face ire over portrayal of man shot by officer

AP  |  Dallas 

Attorneys for the family of a black man who was killed in his own apartment by a white accused officials of trying to "assassinate his character" and expressed fury that authorities sought a resulting in the discovery of marijuana in the victim's apartment.

At a conference Friday, the lawyers said there was no reason for authorities to issue the specifically searching for unless they were trying to sully the victim.

They called for the firing of Amber Guyger, who gunned down 26-year-old in his own apartment on Sept 6. She has been booked on a preliminary charge of manslaughter and is free on bond.

Guyger told investigators she mistook Jean's apartment for her own, which is right below his, and that upon entering the dark home, she believed she had encountered an intruder and shot him when he didn't obey her verbal commands.

Lee Merritt, one of the Jean family attorneys, said Friday that investigators wasted no time in digging for dirt they could use to smear Jean's name. Within hours of Jean being shot, they asked a for a warrant to search his home for drugs, among other things.

"On the night that he was killed, the Police Department investigators were interested specifically in finding information that could help assassinate his character," Merritt said.

police did not immediately respond to a request for comment on the criticism.

Jean's mother, Allison Jean, expressed disgust that on Thursday the results of the search of his home surfaced. They showed that, among the things, police found a small amount of marijuana 10.4 grams and a marijuana grinder. The came the same day that mourners at her son's funeral remembered him for his religious convictions and kindness.

"To have my son smeared in such a way, I think, shows that there (are people) who are really nasty, who are really dirty and are going to cover up for the devil Amber Guyger," she said.

She called on police to release toxicology results from a blood sample taken from Guyger on the night of the shooting. She said that she did not understand why Guyger was allowed to "roam the streets for three days" after killing her son. Guyger shot Jean on Thursday evening and was arrested on Sunday.

The local affiliate, KDFW, was roundly criticized for its initial reporting on the release of the report on the search's findings, drawing scorn from figures across the political spectrum for focusing on the marijuana, tweeting: "DEVELOPING: Search warrant: Marijuana found in Botham Jean's apartment after deadly shooting."

On Twitter, the ACLU called the tweet an "attack on an innocent man."


contributor commented on Twitter, "Irrelevant. 100% irrelevant."

tweeted: "How is this germane to what happened."

KDFW, which later updated its story and added more context, declined to comment Friday about its initial coverage of the

At his funeral, Jean was described as talented and passionate man, who confided to his uncle that he might want to become of his native island country of St Lucia someday.

Dallas and U Renee Hall were among those who attended the hymn-filled funeral. Rawlings has described Jean as a young professional and man of faith who was "exactly the sort of citizen we want to have."

In Texas, being caught with that amount of marijuana is a class B misdemeanor punishable for up to 180 days in jail and/or a fine of up to USD USD 2,000.

Court documents obtained Friday revealed that an from the district attorney's office seized the electronic door lock to Guyger's apartment and downloaded data from the lock.

(This story has not been edited by Business Standard staff and is auto-generated from a syndicated feed.)

First Published: Sat, September 15 2018. 06:15 IST
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