Cops Behaving Badly: The smearing of Botham Jean

Bad enough that Amber Guyger — a white police officer — shot an unarmed man to death in his own apartment, which was one floor up from hers. Worse that her story keeps changing. But this is surely the lowest, ugliest thing they could do: The police, who are certainly not impartial in this matter, are smearing a dead man who can’t defend himself. Why? Because that not-so-thin blue line must be protected at all costs.

If things were working as they should, the police would be searching the killer’s apartment — HERS — and determining whether SHE was on anything that would make her paranoid and short of fuse. Like crack, say. Or meth. (According to the Dallas Morning News, she has been tested for drug use, but the results have not been made public.)

It’s not as if cops are immune to the allure of powerful stimulants, particularly if they’re working long shifts. Cocaine and amphetamines would both fit the bill, given her bizarre behavior; they not only keep you awake and suppress your appetite (both useful to a busy cop with no time to eat, sleep, or shit), but they also make you unduly jumpy, and bound to leap to false (and dangerous) conclusions. Things you shouldn’t be when you’re entrusted with a weapon, a badge, and the job of keeping the public safe and in order.

Amber Guyger should be the one having to defend her own reputation against charges that she was acting improperly. And so she is, but she’s getting some help from her buddies on the force. And that help came in the form of a search warrant against Botham Jean. Police racism at work.

Because black guys — not only in the US, but particularly there, and most particularly in the south — are widely assumed to be in possession of illegal drugs. And other contraband paraphernalia associated with them, too, such as the marijuana grinder allegedly found in Jean’s possession. Never mind that you could just use scissors, or even simply rub the stuff between your fingers to break it down to a consumable size, which beats having to trot down to a headshop for a specialized (and often pricey) gadget. No, they just had to reach for unambiguous pothead paraphernalia…of course. Because a coffee mill could end up being just a coffee mill, right?

And you’d think, too, that they should have to really rip the place apart to find a drug stash, which is how it might be if he were an actual drug user with something to hide from his paranoid cop neighbor from downstairs. But nope, they supposedly found the pot lying right out in the open. How convenient! There’s your “probable cause”, right there…and there’s something that should prove even more convenient in court, when it’s time to get Officer Guyger off the hook for manslaughter. Because you just know they will…and the fact that they smeared a dead man to do so will tell you how far they’re prepared to go.

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