Nancy Bishop, the aunt of former police officer, Amber Guyger, wants the public to know that the fatal shooting of Botham Jean was not racially motivated, according to a recently released op-ed Bishop wrote for the Dallas News.
Last September, the 30-year old, former Dallas police officer shot Jean, who is Black, in his own apartment claiming she thought it was her own and that he was an intruder. Guyger claimed that she was tired after working a 14-hour shift and thought she was on the third floor where her apartment was located, when she had actually parked her car on the fourth.
Bishop wrote the op-ed in response to a statement made by Dallas activist, Njoki McElroy who stated in May that Jean’s death was “a form of lynching,” calling his comment ” incendiary.”
Bishop said the comparison made by McElroy makes her “shudder” and within the past 10 months her niece has been “demonized and vilified.”
“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,” Bishop wrote in the column.
She goes on to make the weak excuse that the incident with Guyger shouldn’t be compared with the other white officers who have fatally shot unarmed Black men because they were on duty at the time. Guyger, on the other hand, “mistakingly” entered the wrong apartment when she got confused, according to Bishop.
“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 questioned in the column.
While Bishop acknowledges the unfortunate result of Jean’s death, she is adamant that there was no “racist intent” and the only way his death is being linked to a lynching is because a Black man died.
“Having grown up during the civil rights era of Martin Luther King, I wish more progress had been made,” Bishop, a former reporter for The Dallas Morning News stated. “Sadly, that’s not the case, and cities such as Dallas have deep racial divisions.”
Guyger, who has been indicted for the Botham Jean’s death, is currently awaiting trial and will appear in court in September 2019. Her aunt says she is expecting “more backlash from people.”
Hopefully, justice will be served when the case goes to court in the fall.
Check out theGrio‘s interview with Botham Jean’s grieving mother, Allison Jean and family attorney, S. Lee Merritt, below.