Diverse Jury Was Key To Guilty Verdict Against Amber Guyger
The judge reading back a guilty verdict against former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger for murder against a black person in this country, especially in the deep south in the state of Texas is shocking and a small win.
Yesterday former Dallas police officer Amber Guyger was sentence to 10 years of prison, for the shooting death of Botham Jean. Last year she returned to her apartment complex in uniform but off duty, she approached what she thought was her apartment. She stated she did not realize she parked on the wrong floor and did not notice the bright red door welcome door mat. Guyger noticed the door was open, found a man inside and fired her service weapon, killing him. Guyger told detectives felt threatened and he did not comply. In actuality Botham Jean was sitting on his couch in his own apartment eating ice cream watching television. The bottom line Amber Guyger lied about the incident.
Initially prosecutors charged Guyger with manslaughter, but a grand jury later indicted her for murder. The Dallas Police Department fired her.
Black Americans are all to familiar to unfair justice in the courtroom, especially in cop involved shootings against unarmed African Americans. As black Americans we are familiar with the harsh treatment and police brutality, but white America glossed of it. Even as cell phone video and body cam video evidence has become readily available as proof in recent times, there still has been a lack of justice or guilty verdicts.
The reason why Amber Guyger was found guilty is because jury pool diversification. Of the 12 jurors and four alternates, seven were black, five were non-black people of color, and four were white. In other cases like Eric Gardner, Michael Brown, Rodney King and many others, the grand jury or trail jury is not as diverse. When the accused has a majority of jurors that look like them more than likely they are found not guilty or not charged.
It is shocking to see a white police officer being convicted of murder in the State of Texas with the highest incarceration rates in the country, Black Texans make up just 12 percent of the population, but 32 percent of incarcerees. And since, like most states, Texas requires jury members to “not have been convicted of, or be under indictment or other legal accusation for, misdemeanor theft or a felony.
In some way this may be a victory but until white people feel the way African Americans feel and understand the brutality, unfair treatment and profiling will deal with it is still not a win. We still cannot trust a all white jury at this point to do the right thing.