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Internet detectives wrongly identified a woman in a photo on Botham Jean’s Instagram account as the officer who shot and killed him last Thursday, causing a swirl of rumors about the cop and her relationship to the victim.
Late last week, Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, 30, was returning home after her shift. She reportedly believed she had walked into her apartment, which was unlocked with the lights off, when she said she found a strange man inside and shot him. The problem is, it wasn’t her apartment, but the home of 26-year-old Jean, the man she shot dead.
As what often occurs after a tragedy, people on the internet sought to understand what happened (how do you not realize this is your home and why is your first reaction to shoot?). This led some to a photo on Jean’s Instagram, where he’s wearing sunglasses and smiling with three women.
Sleuths reposted the photo across the internet, saying the woman on the left was Guyger. Some people were saying that they knew each other. But the most serious accusation was that Guyger and Jean were previously in a relationship. The rumor sparked suspicion that Guyger did not “accidentally” enter the wrong apartment, but did so on purpose with the intent to attack Jean.
Texas Rangers released her moments ago. Officer AMBER GUYGER is the officer responsible for murdering Brotham Shem Jean. She is pictured in the photo with the victim. She knew him well. The extent of their relationship is under investigation. she is wearing dark glasses— lidia zapata (@ZapataLidia) September 8, 2018
Amber Guyger, or Amy Gyger, allegedly had some type of relationship with Jean, 26, before he reportedly opened the door she was trying to force her way into and shot him dead on the spot, according to hundreds of tweets as of Saturday morning. https://t.co/SlC644LuYu— SisterlyLove (@elhilaly8) September 8, 2018
However, none of the women in the photograph are Guyger. According to a spokesperson for PriceWaterhouseCoopers, where Jean worked as a risk assurance associate before he was killed, the woman on the left is actually one of his colleagues. A law enforcement official also told the Dallas Morning News that Jean and Guyger did not know each other prior to Thursday.
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After Guyger shot Jean on Thursday, police arrived within minutes, but Guyger was not initially arrested, nor were any charges filed. On Sunday, she was taken into custody and charged with manslaughter. She was booked into the Kaufman County jail and her bail is set at $300,000.
H/T Dallas News
Alex Dalbey is a writer and zinester currently living in Saint Paul, Minnesota. They have written for The Daily Dot, Kill Screen, The Lingerie Addict, and Bullet Points.