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Dallas Police Officer Arrested For Killing Black Man In His Apartment

RACHEL MARTIN, HOST:

A white Dallas police officer was arrested last night for fatally shooting a black man in his own apartment. She was arrested on manslaughter charges and later released on bond. Christopher Connelly from our member station KERA reports.

CHRISTOPHER CONNELLY, BYLINE: Officer Amber Guyger was returning home on Thursday night after a long shift when she shot 26-year-old Botham Jean in his apartment. Guyger, who is white, was off duty but still in uniform. She told investigators that she had mistaken his apartment for her own, according to police chief U. Renee Hall.

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POLICE CHIEF U RENEE HALL: It's not clear what interaction was between them, but at some point she fired her weapon, striking the victim.

CONNELLY: Jean later died in the hospital. State investigators have not released any more details of how exactly Guyger ended up shooting Jean in his apartment or why. Chief Hall and other city officials have asked for patience as the investigation continues, but frustration mounted over the weekend, and questions were raised about Guyger's narrative. Benjamin Crump is a lawyer with the Jean family.

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BENJAMIN CRUMP: We're still dealing in America with black people being killed in some of the most arbitrary ways - driving while black, walking while black. And now we have to add living while black.

CONNELLY: Botham Jean was a native of the Caribbean nation of Saint Lucia. In an interview with Dallas TV station KXAS, his mother, Allison Jean, described him as a doting son, a wonderful singer and a caring Christian. She says she worried that he worked too hard at his job in a consulting firm.

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ALLISON JEAN: Botham didn't like failure. He always wanted to succeed. And I told him he used to put too much pressure on himself because he would leave work late, and he would come home and he would continue working.

CONNELLY: Jean said she wants justice for her son, but she doesn't want to judge the woman who killed him until she understands exactly what happened.

(SOUNDBITE OF ARCHIVED RECORDING)

JEAN: We are Christians. We forgive. But I need to look into her eyes and ask her why she did that to my son. She took away my heart. She took away my soul. She took away everything.

CONNELLY: A funeral for Botham Jean is being planned for later this week. For NPR News, I'm Christopher Connelly in Dallas. Transcript provided by NPR, Copyright NPR.

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