Nancy Bishop, the aunt of former Dallas cop Amber Guyger who was indicted for murder in the fatal shooting of Botham Jean, says she wishes people would wait until the facts are presented in court before rendering their own verdicts.
The unarmed Jean was shot dead in his own apartment last year with Guyger claiming that she mistook his apartment for hers.
The two lived in the same apartment complex.
Writing in the Dallas News, Guyger’s aunt declared that for 10 months people have demonized and vilified her niece.
Bishop also took issue with Njoki McElroy, the director of the Oral Fixation storytelling series, asserting that he is reported to have claimed that Botham Jean’s death was “a form of lynching.”
“This inflammatory comparison makes me shudder. I wonder how McElroy can be so certain that the tragic death of Jean was racially motivated,” Bishop wrote.
She asserted that what happened the night of Sept. 6, 2018, was different from other incidents that drew national attention when white police officers killed Michael Brown, Walter Lamar Scott, Stephon Clark and other black men.
According to Bishop, in other cases men were killed by police officers who were on duty.
She noted that Guyger had finished a long shift and returned home when, according to the arrest warrant affidavit, she said she mistook Jean’s apartment for her own.
“She said she opened the ajar door of the unit and saw “a large silhouette” in the nearly dark apartment and believed it was a burglar,” Bishop recalled in the article published by the Dallas News.
“Transcripts from a 911 dispatcher call reveal Guyger’s initial shock when she summoned help after the shooting. She repeated more than a dozen times, “I thought it was my apartment” and also uttered, “I didn’t mean to. I didn’t mean to. I’m so sorry.”
“Would a racist police officer have this type of initial reaction, or was this response from someone who realized this was a horrific accident?” Bishop wrote.
She declared that what happened that night was an unimaginable tragedy.
“I don’t want to minimize the loss of Jean. I grieve for his family, friends and everyone involved.My niece and my family are devastated by what happened. I wake up every morning praying for everyone involved in this nightmarish situation,” Bishop wrote.
She expressed regret that protesters and others quickly linked the death of Botham Jean to other ‘sensational’ shootings of innocent black men under questionable circumstances by white police officers.
Bishop expressed the view that to draw this conclusion, people assume they know what was going through Guyger’s mind that night.