Dallas police tried to smear man killed by cop in his own apartment, lawyer says

Amber Renee Guyger, a Dallas police officer, was arrested Sunday, Sept. 9, 2018, on a manslaughter warrant in the shooting death of 26-year-old Botham Jean at his home, authorities said. ((Kaufman County Sheriff's Office, Harding University via AP)

DALLAS (AP/Meredith) — An attorney for the family of a man shot dead by a police officer in the man's own apartment says a police affidavit shows investigators immediately sought evidence to discredit the victim.

"They immediately began looking to smear him," said Lee Merritt represents the family of Botham Jean. The 26-year-old was shot dead in his Dallas apartment on Sept. 6.

Officer Amber Guyger, who shot him, said she mistook his apartment for her own and thought he was an intruder.

A police affidavit shows that officers seized, among other items, 10.4 grams of marijuana and a marijuana grinder from Jean's apartment. Merritt said that showed investigators were immediately looking for drug paraphernalia.

Guyger is charged with manslaughter and remains free on $300,000 bond.

On Thursday, loved ones gathered for Jean's funeral to honor the life and legacy of the 26-year-old accountant.

Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings and Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall were among those who attended the hymn-filled funeral.

Family and friends described Jean as a devout Christian and a caring individual.

"He was always in service of others, even when it wasn't convenient for him," said Alexis Stossel, a friend of Jean.

After the funeral, area religious leaders expressed their outrage at the killing. Sammie Berry, an elder and pulpit minister at Jean's church, says the family cannot rest until justice is served and Guyger is punished "to the fullest extent of the law."

The officer's description of what happened was included in an arrest affidavit prepared by a Texas Ranger. It was released Monday, shortly after the district attorney announced that the case would be presented to a grand jury, which could decide on more serious charges than manslaughter.

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