City officials in Dallas, Texas, are being accused of launching a cover-up as they’ve reportedly refused to release a 911 call recording, autopsy report, and other crucial information related to ex-officer Amber Guyger’s fatal shooting of her unarmed neighbor, Botham Jean.
The Dallas Morning News said they requested the 911 call Guyger placed the night Jean was killed and instead obtained a letter showing that the city attorney is asking the state attorney general if the call can be withheld from the public. An update from the newspaper indicated that the district attorney also wants Jean’s autopsy report to remain private.
Assistant City Attorney Pavala Armstrong told the newspaper that releasing this information to the public would jeopardize their criminal investigation. Right now, Guyger, 30, is charged with manslaughter in connection with the fatal September 6 shooting.
The news comes as councilman Philip Kingston expressed disappointment at how the investigation is being handled—accusing District Attorney Faith Johnson of “screwing this up.” Kingston said the district attorney’s office declined requests to release radio calls, possible body cam videos, and Guyger’s personnel records, according to KTVT.
“I think the investigation is over and I think we need to start being transparent with the information these decision makers are looking at because they’ve all said we want transparency, we want transparency, we want transparency, but they’re actions are 180 degrees from that,” Kingston said, noting that Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall should also take some blame for what he called an unsatisfactory investigation.
As CrimeOnline previously reported, Guyger told police she had finished a 15-hour shift when she parked her car on the fourth floor of her apartment building instead of the third floor where she lived. She reportedly said the door was slightly ajar when she placed the key with an electronic chip into the keyhole, causing the door to open further.
Documents indicated that Guyger, who is white, claimed she saw a “large silhouette” and gave it verbal commands before opening fire, wounding Jean in his torso. The 26-year-old later died from his injuries.
An attorney for the slain man’s family said they’ve been in contact with witnesses that directly contradict Guyger’s story. According to The Dallas Morning News, the lawyer said one witness heard Guyger say, “Let me in. Let me in,” before entering Botham’s apartment.
Another witness reportedly overheard Botham say, “Oh my God. Why did you do that?” moments after gunfire erupted.
KTVT noted that information such as 911 calls and bodycam footage could support or disprove Guyger’s account.
Guyger was fired in late September following an internal investigation. She remains free on $30,000 bond.
[Featured Image: Botham Jean/Facebook; Amber Guyger/Kaufman County Sheriff’s Office]