Protests erupted Wednesday outside of a Dallas courtroom after Amber Guyger was sentenced to 10 years for the shooting death of Botham Jean after she entered the wrong home.
Prosecutors urged the court to hand down a 28-year sentence to Guyger, the age Jeanwould have been today had he lived. Instead, Guyger was sentenced to a mere 10 years, a decision that angered protesters who believed the punishment was too light given the circumstances.
Tensions ran high between demonstrators and police after the sentencing, as activists chanted, “No justice, no peace,” outside the courthouse, The Star-Telegram reports.
Officers ordered them to “Please exit the roadway” but things soon took a turn and a video captured one woman getting arrested.
A woman in a red shirt could be seen walking with her fist up as officers swarm and pull her down when she tried to run. The woman was handcuffed.
WARNING GRAPHIC LANGUAGE: There’s been an arrest in the protest in downtown #Dallas . The protest is taking place after #AmberGuyger received a 10 year sentence for the murder of #BothamJean pic.twitter.com/Ci8Sa8M87u
— Alex Rozier (@RozierReports) October 3, 2019
Another person could be heard on the video screaming, “This is why we hate you!”
“Let her go!” another shouted.
Dallas police on Thursday said the woman in the video, Safiya Paul, 31 was arrested and charged with obstruction, a misdemeanor, police said. She was released from jail on a $500 bond.
The protests followed a tense week of testimony in the Guyger case. On Tuesday, a jury decided in less than 24 hours to convict the 31-year-old after prosecutors convinced them that the Sept. 6, 2018 shooting was not accidental, but instead an avoidable tragedy sparked by Guyger’s poor judgment. By Wednesday, it was announced that she had only been sentenced to 10 years in prison.
Before anyone could celebrate the “guilty” verdict, a disturbing video started making the rounds of a Black deputy stroking Amber Guyger’s hair after the verdict. Viewers said it was jarring to see Guyger being handled so adoringly by a person of color immediately after she was convicted of killing an unarmed Black man.
What the hell man? She’s stroking Amber’s hair after she was found guilty of murder. Some of us are still slaves. That’s why WS don’t want us speaking about black empowerment. They don’t want their slaves to finally be set free. #AmberGuyger pic.twitter.com/y1sLGwjUgB
— African Diaspora News Channel (@AfrDiasporaNews) October 1, 2019
That same day, Botham Jean’s younger brother, Brandt Jean, took the stand for his victim statement, and tearfully said to her brother’s killer, “I don’t want to say twice or for the 100th time how much you have taken from us. I think you know that, but I just.. I hope you go to God with all the guilt and all the bad things you have done in the past. Each and every one of us may have done something that we have not supposed to do. If you are truly are sorry, I know I can speak for myself, I forgive you.”
Botham Jean's brother to Amber Guyger: "I forgive you."
In a stunning moment, Brandt Jean asked the judge to allow him to hug the former Dallas police officer after she was sentenced to 10 years in prison for killing his sibling. https://t.co/Pw4gBchCC1 pic.twitter.com/OPNbZrlmxi
— ABC News (@ABC) October 3, 2019
He then hugged his brother’s killer. And to add insult to injury, the State District Judge Tammy Kemp hugged Guyger too.
The protests are a culmination of the community’s anger over the sentence and what seems likes privileged treatment of Guyger.
“Why give a murder conviction and then 10 years?” said Dominique Alexander, the leader of the Next Generation Action Network, explaining why the Black community is outraged.