The bizarre and tragic death of Botham Jean in his own home at the hands of a Dallas Police Officer has sent shock waves throughout the country, but the NRA claims if Jean simply had a gun, everything would’ve been fine.
This has raised the ire of Valerie Castile, whose son Philando, was killed by a police officer in 2016 after telling the officer who pulled his car over that he had a licensed firearm in the vehicle.
NRA spokeswoman Dana Loesch said in an interview earlier this week that Jean might still be alive today if only he was “a law-abiding gun owner.” Castile told the New York Daily News that this statement is “asinine” and with good reason.
“My son was a licensed gun owner and it didn’t help him,” Castile said on Wednesday. “He’s dead because he gave that information to an officer.”
Loesch made the comments during a Monday appearance on NRATV.
“You know, this could have been very different if Botham Jean had been, say, he was a law-abiding gun owner and he saw somebody coming into his apartment,” Loesch said. “I mean, if I see somebody coming into my house, and I’m not expecting them, and they’re walking in like they own the place, I mean—I would, I would act to defend myself.
“And this could have gone very differently had he actually had a firearm on him,” she added.
Valerie Castile called Loesch “reckless” and “one-sided” for using Jean’s tragic death to further the NRA’s agenda.
On Tuesday, Loesch doubled down on the position that Jean should’ve had a gun, then claimed that Castile reached for his for his waistband “10 times” in the video. Both the dashcam video and the Facebook video showed no such thing.
An arrest affidavit prepared by a Texas Ranger was released Monday, providing a narrative based almost entirely on the officer’s account.
Amber Guyger told investigators that she had just ended a 15-hour shift Thursday when she returned in uniform to the South Side Flats apartment complex. She claimed she parked on the fourth floor, instead of the third, where she lived, according to the affidavit, possibly suggesting that she was confused or disoriented.
When she put her key in the apartment door, which was unlocked and slightly ajar, it opened, the affidavit said.
Attorney for the family of Botham Jean, Lee Merritt, believes Guyger’s narrative about a “slightly ajar” door is a false one.
Merritt described Jean as a meticulous accountant for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, “somebody who is intentional in everything that they do. He doesn’t prop doors open when they’re expecting guests. He wasn’t expecting any guests,” he told CNN.
He said two witnesses reported hearing a ruckus. “Both heard a knock or pounding… They heard pounding followed by a female voice saying open up, let me in, not a command by an officer,” he explained. Then he said they heard gunshots, followed by a male voice saying, “oh my God, why did you do that!”
Merritt does not accept the arrest document’s narrative.
A private viewing and funeral for Botham Jean are scheduled to be held today in Richardson, Texas for friends and family only. A subsequent service will be held in Saint Lucia.