Political Focus: Shooting victim Botham Jean slandered after marijuana found in his apartment postmortem

Ben Hume, Staff Reporter

A black man named Botham Jean was murdered in his home by off-duty police officer Amber Guyger on the evening of Sept. 6. The off-duty officer apparently mistook Jean’s apartment for her own and fatally shot Jean in the dark after discharging her handgun twice.

Guyger has been charged with manslaughter, though demonstrators want her charges lifted to murder based on the poor firsthand account provided by Guyger. She has already been released on bail. While this event has already sparked more outrage from the black community already reeling from unfair profiling, the story recently evolved in a grotesque way.

Shortly after Jean was shot, police got a search warrant and a search was conducted at Jean’s apartment. During this search, a small amount of marijuana was found in his apartment, along with other personal belongings.

To get an idea of why this search is slanderous, start with National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP) president Cornell William Brooks, who likened this strange search and seizure to that of Emmett Till, who was accused of “leering at a white woman (who lied) to legitimate his lynching.” The case of Emmett Till was not reopened until July of this year, 63 years after the case was closed. It took the white woman’s admittance that she lied in a 2008 interview for new light to be shed on this case.

Emmett Till was hugely responsible for mobilizing the civil rights movement, and his murder in 1955 was brushed off when evidence was found that Till “deserved to die.” If the leader of the NAACP claims your case stinks of a pre-civil rights legitimized lynching, you’re in deep water. And Botham’s family is taking this argument to court.

Botham’s family believes they have evidence that these searches of Botham’s apartment were meant to find information to slander him and divert blame away from their police force. This is based on the fact that 10 grams of marijuana and a grinder were not only immediately found in the apartment, but also that they were among the only items confiscated.

There’s also the elephant in the room that must be addressed, which is why the first instinct of the police department was to search the home of the victim rather than search the home of the offender. Even more puzzling is that the original police search warrant states that Jean confronted the officer at the door, despite the Texas Rangers’ later report that stated Jean was across the room when Guyger walked in.

All of these facts simply do not add up, and there seems to be no legitimate reason for the victim’s home to be the one searched — especially so close to his death, when Guyger’s apartment was not searched at all.

Paraphrasing a multitude of tweets and responses that surfaced as a result of these discoveries, if you ever disputed the need for a Black Lives Matter movement, just start digging into some of these cases. Nothing is adding up. Black people are being shot for being in their own backyards, for having cell phones in hand, and for simply being in their own unlit apartment.

So don’t get butthurt when your favorite football player kneels.