Saturday, September 8, 2018

White Dallas Cop Enters Wrong Home and Kills Black Man

I want you to imagine that you're peacefully resting, reading, sleeping or just doing whatever you like to do in your own home. 
You hear someone banging on your door. You go to see who's at the door. An armed police officer enters your home without apparent permission and without warrant because she supposedly thinks that this is her home. She then shoots you dead because you're an "intruder" in "her" home. A cynic might say that that scenario is the basic theme of American history and the European invasion of the New World. Well maybe. But it's also the tragedy that occurred to one Botham Shem Jean, a recent college graduate and associate at Price Waterhouse Coopers. I would hope that based on what the facts of the case seem to be now, that the officer who took Mr. Jean's life spends some time in prison and is not allowed to ever again have a weapon or a job as a police officer.

Based on past events though, you never know. I would not be surprised if in the next few days some racist digs up pictures of Mr. Jean playing pee-wee football from the fourth grade to "prove" that he was some sort of "thug" who got what he deserved. And if the officer is attractive, cries a lot, or gets the right sort of people on her jury she may well be acquitted. Who can say. It's funny that all the people who were wailing and gnashing their teeth and wetting their pants over Colin Kapernick and other Black athletes protesting police violence against Black people so far don't seem to have shown the same level of outrage over Mr. Jean's murder.  I sure they will. Any second now...

Botham Shem Jean was identified as the 26-year-old businessman from a Saint Lucian family of parliamentarians who was shot and killed by a white female Dallas police officer who authorities say accidentally went into Jean’s apartment, thinking it was her own.
The cop wasn’t in her apartment; she was in his, and she had no reason to be there, police acknowledged in a statement. She then shot him, authorities say. Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall said at a press conference that investigators are working to obtain an arrest warrant charging the officer with manslaughter. The officer’s name will be released when she is charged, Hall told reporters Friday afternoon.

The officer, who is not in custody, worked in patrol. Hall said her department requested the Texas Rangers conduct an independent investigation into the shooting. Hall said when they first responded to the call, they believed it was an “officer-involved shooting,” but the circumstances changed as more details were revealed, creating, “a very unique situation.” She said, “We have ceased handling it under our normal protocol as an officer-involved shooting.”

Botham Shem Jean, a recent college graduate known for his leadership and singing voice in church, was originally from the Caribbean island nation of Saint Lucia, and, according to their Facebook comments and tributes, he was the pride of his family, a young man who came to America to study accounting and for whom great things were expected.

Botham Shem Jean, whose nickname was “Bo,” comes from a prominent family in Saint Lucia. According to St. Lucia Times, Jean was the son of Allison Jean, described as “former Permanent Secretary in the Ministry of Education, Innovation, Gender Relations and sustainable Development” and Bertram Jean, who was a store supervisor for Water and Sewerage Company Inc., known as WASCO. His uncle, Ignatius Jean, is “Chief Executive Officer of the Caribbean Water and Sewerage Association Inc. (CAWASA) and former government Minister and Parliamentarian,” St. Lucia Times reported.

On LinkedIn, Botham Jean described himself as an “aspiring young professional” who was “engaged in developing a career built upon integrity, dedication and relationships, leveraging useful technologies to gain an understanding of and add value in a range industries, striving towards leadership in my career, my community and society.” He was working in Dallas as a risk assurance associate for PricewaterhouseCoopers, according to his LinkedIn page.

Everyone makes mistakes. But you have to be pretty stupid or pretty drunk to mistake someone else's apartment for your own. I don't care if the officer was afraid. Just because you're afraid doesn't mean you get to kill people. And you definitely don't get to break into other people's home and shoot them because you're afraid. We shouldn't even be talking about the officer's fears. It wasn't her apartment. She had no right to enter and no right to be afraid. The only person who had the right to be there, the right to be afraid and the right to use deadly force was Mr. Jean. What about his fears?

I HOPE that the justice system will make that clear to the officer by making an example of her. But I FEAR that won't be the case. Time will tell. If this wasn't so tragic it would be almost surreal. A Black man has successfully weathered the various slings and arrows of day to day racism and has made it home. Someone enters his home and shoots him because they're AFRAID of him. America.
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