On Tuesday Dallas Police Chief Renee Hall claimed she is not able to fire Amber Guyger for the shooting of Botham Shem Jean
At a Town Hall meeting Hall claimed city, state and federal laws prevented her from firing Guyger
DPD general orders states a chief can fire an officer if it is necessary to preserve the integrity of the department
Guyger would not be the first officer fired in Texas or Dallas fired during a criminal investigation
It has been almost two weeks since 30-year-old off-duty Dallas police officer Amber Guyger killed 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean in his apartment claiming she believed she was in her apartment and thought he was an intruder after getting off of a shift.
Since the shooting, Guyger remains on paid administrative leave and has moved from her apartment. Jean’s apartment was searched by law enforcement, which brought outrage from residents in Dallas when it became clear the Dallas Police Department were attempting to smear his name after turning their focus to 10.4 grams of marijuana they found in his apartment. At this time it is not clear if law enforcement performed a search warrant on Guyger’s apartment before she was allowed to move.
Those angry about the shooting feel Guyger is receiving special treatment because she is a police officer, which appears to be correct. Guyger was not arrested the night of the shooting and once she finally was three days later, she was only in booking for roughly an hour before her $300,000 bond was paid. Meanwhile, nine protesters who shutdown traffic during a Cowboys game during a protest of the shooting sat in jail for two days before they were released. The group became known around the country as the “Dallas Nine.”
Initially, DPD had requested a warrant for manslaughter against Guyger but the request was denied by a judge who said what was being described to him sounded like a murder charge. At that point, DPD handed the investigation over to the Texas Rangers who got a warrant for manslaughter against Guyger days later.
DPD Chief Renee Hall believes the department should be praised for their blatant neglect of the legal process and went as far as to say that she cannot fire Guyger from the force due to “local, state and federal laws” at a Town Hall meeting on Tuesday.
I can’t do that because there are both local, state and federal laws that prohibit me from taking action. There are civil service laws we have to adhere to.
WFAA pointed out that Hall was not truthful according to the DPD general orders which gives the police chief the power to fire an officer if “necessary to preserve the integrity of the department.” In other words, Hall can fire Guyger in a situation exactly like what we see right now in Dallas occurs.
The Chief of Police may circumvent all formal disciplinary procedures to render an immediate decision when it deems it necessary to preserve the integrity of the department.
It would not be a drastic move for Hall to fire Guyger, as chiefs across Texas — including Dallas — have fired officers who were under criminal investigation by ordering the internal investigation to be expedited which only takes a matter of days.
Instead, Hall is asking for a community to have faith in an investigation process and a department that has failed Jean, his loved ones, and the community every step of the way since the shooting. It is no surprise tension between residents and police are growing in the streets of Dallas.