Jean Family Attorney: Guyger Trial Should Not Be Postponed - NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth
Guyger Murder Trial

Guyger Murder Trial

Jean Family Attorney: Guyger Trial Should Not Be Postponed

The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 23 in Dallas — the fair's opening day comes Friday, Sept. 27

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    Jean Family Attorney: Guyger Trial Should Not Be Postponed

    The head of the Dallas Police Association is quoted in local report suggesting a delay in the trial for safety concerns during the State Fair of Texas. (Published Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2019)

    An attorney representing the family of Botham Jean, the man shot and killed in his apartment by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger in 2018, took to social media Tuesday night to blast a reported call by the Dallas police union leader to have Guyger's murder trial postponed until after the State Fair of Texas.

    The trial is scheduled to begin Monday, Sept. 23 in Dallas — the fair's opening day comes Friday, Sept. 27.

    Guyger, 30, is accused of fatally shooting Botham Jean inside his own apartment on Sept. 6, 2018. She was charged with manslaughter three days later, before a grand jury heard evidence and opted to instead indict her on a murder charge. Guyger claimed she mistook his apartment for her's (she lived in the same complex, though on a different floor) and thought he was an intruder. He was unarmed.

    Lee Merritt, an attorney representing the Jean family, took to social media Tuesday night, blasting Sgt. Mika Mata, President of the Dallas Police Association, for reportedly suggesting a delay for the trial out of concerns for safety.

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    "The call by the Dallas Police Assc 'DPA' to delay the trial of Botham Jean in the interest of the Texas State Fair is absurd and contemptible," Merritt wrote in a tweet. "That a police officer association would value recreation over the life of a citizen is mystifying. Shame on you DPA."

    Jean's sister, Allisa Charles-Findley, in Dallas for the start of the trial, said it was important to the family for the trial to start so they could start grieve.

    "I think our life has been disrupted since Sept. 6, since I received that call," she said. "So, I think it's insensitive because he's not thinking about the family. He's not thinking about the victim."

    Mata has not yet responded to NBC 5's requests for comment.

    Merritt continued his statement on Facebook, accusing the union of "placing so little value of the life of a Dallas citizen."

    The Dallas Police Department told NBC 5 that in preparation for both the start of the Texas State Fair and the Guyger trial the department requested the use of discretionary time off be limited during the period of Sept. 23 until Oct. 7.

    "Officers have been advised to have all safety equipment available," a Dallas police spokesman said in August. "This adjustment will help ensure proper staffing."

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