On Thursday, not long after 26-year-old Botham Jean was laid to rest, the Dallas Police department released the findings of a search warrant on his apartment, further upsetting his family and those seeking justice.
Among the items that were found were two fired shell casings, a laptop, and a plastic bag containing 10 grams of marijuana. Attorneys for Botham Jean’s family, seeing the release as an attempt to justify killing Jean, are angered that the warrant describing the drug evidence became public on the same day of his funeral.
“I think it’s unfortunate that law enforcement began to immediately criminalize the victim — in this case, someone who was clearly was the victim that has absolutely no bearing on the fact that he was shot in his home,” said Lee Merritt, attorney for Jean’s family to Dallas Fox affiliate KDFW. “I would love to see more information coming out about the warrants executed on the home of the shooter who lived just below him. I haven’t seen any of those.
“And particularly for it to be on this day—the day that we remember and celebrate him,” he added, “to see the common assassination attempt on the victim that we often see in law enforcement involved shootings. I know because of how he lived his life it won’t stain his reputation because he lived his life so virtuously. But it’s unfortunate law enforcement has taken this turn.”
Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger was charged with manslaughter for shooting and killing Jean in his apartment last weekend, after claiming that she thought the apartment was hers. Whether or not he had marijuana in his apartment, his attorneys say, is irrelevant.
“This is nothing but a disgusting attempt to assassinate the character of a wonderful young man,” said Ben Crump, attorney for the Jean family.
Toxicology reports on both the shooter, Guyger, and the victim, Jean, have yet to be released, and it is unclear if Guyger’s apartment was searched as well. The investigation is being handled by the Texas Rangers.
One thing is certain in the Jean camp. They feel that the investigation is an attempt to smear an innocent man killed in his home.