Amber Guyger's Racist Texts and Social Media Posts may Determine her Sentence
Amber Guyger's fate rests in the hands of the 12 jurors who convicted her of murdering Botham Jean, including seven African-Americans who sat through testimony Monday revealing racist text messages Guyger had sent to her colleagues in the months preceding the shooting as well as social media posts she had made in the past.
The revelation of the texts was to help jurors determine a proper sentence for Guyger, 31, who was fired from the Dallas Police Department following the September 6, 2018 incident where she shot and killed the 26-year-old accountant in his own apartment thinking it was her apartment.
In the trial, Guyger had testified she was not racist but terrified for her life after she willingly walked into the wrong apartment despite hearing "shuffling" inside. She said she entered the home prepared to encounter a dangerous burglar, oblivious to the red doormat in front of his apartment, an obvious indicator she was at the wrong apartment.
She tearfully testified she had no choice but to kill Jean because he had defied her orders to show his hands as he charged towards her. It was only after she shot him when she realized she was at the wrong apartment, she testified.
But her texts and social media posts reveal a woman who had little regard for black people or human life in general.
“People are so ungrateful,” Guyger commented on a post on Pinterest. “No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them.”
In a text to another officer during a Martin Luther King Jr. parade on January 15, 2018, Guyger suggested to "just push them ... or spray your pepper spray in that general area" in regards to the people attending the parade.
Two days before she killed Jean, she received a text message from a friend, an apparent officer who was trying to get her to adopt a German shepard, telling her the dog "may be racist."
“It’s okay.. I’m the same,” Guyger responded, later adding that “I hate everything and everyone but y’all."
But even then, she had little regard for her fellow officers who were black.
According to the Washington Post:
The new texts introduced after the verdict showed her mocking black officers working for the Dallas Police Department with her partner, Officer Martin Rivera.
“Damn I was at this area with 5 different black officers !!!” Rivera texted Guyger on March 9, 2018. “Not racist but damn.”
Guyger echoed Rivera and added: “Not racist but just have a different way of working and it shows.”
During a 2018 parade on Martin Luther King Jr. Day, Guyger texted another officer about their lengthy shift as attendees celebrated the black civil rights activist’s legacy.
“When does this end lol,” read a text sent to Guyger. She replied: “When MLK is dead … oh wait …”
Prosecutors also showed images of Pinterest posts about guns and violence that Guyger had saved and commented on. One post showed a photo of a “Minion” character from the “Despicable Me” movies with the caption: “People are so ungrateful. No one ever thanks me for having the patience not to kill them.” Guyger commented about owning a gun on another meme that read, “I wear all black to remind you not to mess with me because I’m already dressed for your funeral.”
Guyger sat through the revelation of her texts and social media history expressionless, staring straight ahead. The jury can sentence her anywhere from five years in prison to life without parole. The decision is expected to be made today.
Prior to the revelation, Jean's mother testified, painting a completely different picture, describing her son as somebody who befriended everybody he came in contact with. A man passionate about helping the needy as well as singing in the church choir.
A man who would bring his classmates from Harding University in Arkansas to his birthplace of St. Lucia every summer to volunteer at an orphanage.
In essence, he was everything Guyger was not.