The Criminalization of Botham Shem Jean Has Begun And I Am Furious

Breanna Edwards Sep, 14, 2018

Late Thursday, evening Dallas’ Fox 4 News tweeted out a “developing” story. According to a search warrant, the news station claimed, marijuana was found in the apartment of Botham Shem Jean, the St. Lucian native living in Dallas, Texas, who was shot and killed in his own apartment after police officer Amber Guyger allegedly mistook it as her own.

In the news story break down, the article describes several items found in Jean’s apartment, including a one metal marijuana grinder, 10.4 grams of marijuana in ziplock bags, and other items related to the shooting, such as fired cartridge casings, fired projectiles, fire arms and more. The search warrant was signed just hours after his death, and the findings hit the news just shortly after his funeral.

Of course, the search warrant does not say where any of the items were located or who they belonged to. What is clear is that the police, Fox 4 and anyone else who released the incomplete information about this warrant are set on criminalizing a victim who is no longer alive to defend himself.

I don’t care what was found in Botham Shem Jean’s apartment. I don’t care what belongs to him or even, quite frankly, what belongs to Guyger. This case is so outrageous and so unbelievable that it should be able to stand on its own with the bare facts. Those facts include the fact that Guyger entered the wrong apartment on the wrong floor and opened fire on the rightful owner of the unit, killing a man in his own home. That should be more than enough to at least ensure that Guyger never holds a gun again at minimum and serves some jail time for the love of everything that is pure and just.

But no, to hear Guyger tell it, she saw a “large silhouette” in “her” apartment who did not obey her verbal commands and thus she shot and killed Jean. A narrative she can spread because you know, she’s still alive, once again criminalizing Jean even though he was exactly where he was supposed to be.

And now we’re greeted by this “news,” which came out just after his funeral had ended.

An innocent man died in his own house. An innocent man was killed by a police officer who was technically off duty and had no right, rhyme or reason to be inside his unit. It is infuriating that anyone should even attempt to place his name and the marijuana that was “found” in the same sentence. I fail to see how it is relevant (that’s because it isn’t)/ I fail to see how it matters because one simple fact still remains: Amber Guyger had no business inside Botham Shem Jean’s apartment.

“I think it’s unfortunate that law enforcement begin 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,” Lee Merritt, attorney for Jean’s family, said, according to Fox4. “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… to see the common assassination attempt on the victim that we often see in law enforcement involved shootings.”

Immediately Fox4’s mentions came under attack as people took notice of the way it framed Jean’s story.

Meanwhile, no word on if a search warrant was executed on Guyger’s apartment,  but we all know the likelihood of that, as it took three days for her to even be arrested in the first place. Now we’re talking about marijuana in Jean’s apartment, but we are still awaiting toxicology reports on Guyger’s blood. We don’t even know if she was sober or not, but all of a sudden Jean is on trial.

And once again we are being told plain as day that Black lives do not matter, and police are governed by a different set of laws.