Amber Guyger may have been convicted of murdering Botham Jean, but the people who testified against her are suffering the consequences. If anyone felt the slightest hope that justice was moving in the right direction with this trial result, that hope suffered a serious setback over the weekend.
Guyger is the white cop who allegedly mistakenly walked into the wrong apartment thinking it was her own. Seeing Jean there in his own home, watching TV and eating a bowl of ice cream, and thinking him an intruder, she shot him twice, killing him.
We can note for sure some tangible progress: this cop was charged with murder, tried in front of a truly diverse jury, and convicted. She will even see jail time — 10 years, though how much of that she will actually serve is up for debate, and many point out that Black defendants have served much more for much less. Lying on a form to send their child to a better school, for example, or stealing a backpack.
But the dirty hands of the white supremacist police world was hard at work behind the scenes, directly or indirectly, to make sure anyone who helped convict one of their own would not set an example for others. One witness to the immediate aftermath of Jean's shooting, "Bunny," lost her job and her professional credentials, after her employer began to receive phone calls smearing her as a Black activist and extremist. She also received death threats.
According to ABC News:
Bunny said she gave the video to the Dallas County District Attorney's Office. Prosecutors did not offer a comment to ABC News due to a gag order on the case.
The harassment began shortly after Bunny uploaded the video to social media, she said.
Trolls also found the name of the pharmaceutical company where Bunny worked and began harassing the company by phone, email and posting to its Facebook page, saying she was a "radical," "anti-police" and "a black extremist," she said.
Bunny said her employer let her go, explaining that they "didn't want their company associated with a high-profile case." When she threatened to go to the media, they then "took it a step further" and blacklisted her credentials, which she said they were able to do because she earned the credentials while working for them.
While Bunny has been suffering these consequences for a year, now, another witness, Joshua Brown, suffered the ultimate penalty last Friday. He was murdered, shot at close range in the mouth and chest. Brown was one of the key witnesses in the trial, whose testimony is thought to have been crucial in helping to convict Guyger.
According to The Washigton Post,
Brown’s testimony was crucial to the outcome of the case, Merritt said. Brown took the stand on Sept. 24, the second day of the trial, and told jurors that he was walking toward his unit at the South Side Flats when he overheard what sounded like a surprise meeting between Jean, who lived across the hall from him, and Guyger. He said he couldn’t make out what they were saying but was sure he didn’t hear the loud police commands Guyger later claimed she made.
That testimony undermined “a key element of the defense,” Merritt said.
His murder came two days after her sentencing. Furthermore, Brown was scheduled to testify in a civil case against the Dallas police.
Now he has been killed. Investigators have no suspects, but most thinking people see a dangerous, inescapable conclusion to be drawn. There is no peace, no safety, no protection for people who testify against the police.
Several presidential candidates have issued statements.
It appears domestic terrorists are conducting revenge on behalf of Amber Guyger: murderer of an innocent Black man, receiver of forgiveness from Jean's brother, and receiver of hugs and a Bible from the judge who presided over her trial.