DALLAS (CBSDFW.COM) – Dallas County District Attorney Faith Johnson issued a lengthy statement Monday on the investigation into the deadly shooting of Botham Jean by off-duty Dallas Police officer Amber Guyger on September 26 in Jean’s apartment.
Johnson said it is up to her office to determine how and why Guyger shot and killed Jean.
She said to protect the integrity of the case, her office can’t talk yet about the evidence or witness statements the DA’s office has gathered.
Here is Faith Johnson’s complete statement:
As your District Attorney, I want you to know that I am committed to aggressively pursuing and investigating the shooting death of 26-year-old Botham Shem Jean by Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger that occurred on Thursday, September 6, 2018 – as I am with every case that’s presented to the DAs Office.
But I want to stress that a rush to judgement serves no one. Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger has admitted to shooting and killing Botham Jean. It is now up to my office to determine how and why it happened and how justice can best be served in this case.
Now is the time to ask for calm in our communities until all the facts are known and presented to a Grand Jury. I also am asking citizens to have faith and patience during the investigation process. You have my word that no stone will be left unturned as we work to uncover all the facts in this case.
Some citizens have asked for a timeline for when this case will go the Grand Jury. While we are working as quickly and efficiently as we can, it’s impossible to give an exact timeline for completion of this investigation. When a decision by the Grand Jury is made we will provide that information to the public.
I want the public to know that I have met with the Jean family on numerous occasions and remain in contact with them. I have assured them that my office is dedicated to uncovering the truth about what happened to their loved one; Botham Jean, a son, a brother, a nephew who was deeply loved by his family.
I ask for your continued prayers for the Jean family.
As you know, the shooting occurred on Thursday, September 6 and the Botham Jean case was officially turned over to the DAs Office by the Texas Rangers on Sunday, September 9, after the Rangers completed their initial investigation. The Rangers’ fuller investigation is ongoing.
The District Attorney’s Public Integrity Division Response team was deployed the night of the shooting and immediately began its own independent investigation with a team of experienced investigators, prosecutors and other professional staff. The District Attorney’s Office becomes involved to ensure a fully transparent and unbiased investigation conducted by an independent, uninvolved law enforcement agency. The DA is now taking the lead on this case.
The team that I put together includes three prosecutors and two investigators from Public Integrity, an appellate prosecutor and an intake/grand jury prosecutor, a victim’s rights coordinator, and a forensic digital media analyst.
I believe it’s important for the public to understand that from the moment the Texas Rangers issued a warrant for manslaughter for Amber Guyger, and the case was turned over to my office, my team has worked around the clock to gather evidence, issue search warrants and talk to witnesses in the pursuit of justice in his case.
It is my duty as your DA, to follow the law every step of the way and to maintain the integrity of this case and every case presented to my office. That’s why I am asking the citizens of Dallas County to allow my team the necessary time to complete their investigation.
While I understand that many citizens are outraged over the shooting and have a lot of unanswered questions right now, I urge you to allow the legal process to work. I can assure you that my team is working night and day to get to the bottom of what happened on the night of September 6.
You must also understand the importance of protecting the integrity of the case. To protect the integrity of the case, we cannot yet talk about the evidence we have gathered or the witnesses that we have talked to.
Releasing details of any case before an investigation is completed is extremely detrimental. It can cause evidence to be thrown out or allow a change of venue in a trial in the event a jury pool is tainted by leaked information.
I want everyone to know that the Jean case is a top priority for me and my office and I’m asking everyone in our community to wait until all the facts are known and to have patience during the investigation process.
Dallas County District Attorney