Botham Jean’s case takes centre stage in U.S. senatorial debate

Botham Jean’s case takes centre stage in U.S. senatorial debate
From left: Botham Jean, Ted Cruz and Beto
From left: Botham Jean, Ted Cruz and Beto ’Rourke

(STAR-TELEGRAM) — Garrett Hull, Botham Jean and Amber Guyger — and the tragic circumstances that surround them all — suddenly became part of a senatorial debate Friday night.

The topic of police shootings and fallen officers — such as Fort Worth’s Garrett Hull, who was laid to rest Friday — came up during the hour-long debate between Republican U.S. Sen. Ted Cruz and Democrat U.S. Rep. Beto O’Rourke at SMU.

Cruz was asked why he cautioned O’Rourke and others not to jump to conclusions about the case of Guyger, a Dallas police officer who shot and killed Jean — an unarmed black man — in his own apartment, which she said she mistakenly thought was her own home.

“What happened to Mr. Jean was horrific,” Cruz said “Nobody should be in their own home and be shot and killed. It was tragic.”

Cruz noted that Guyger said she thought she was in her own home and believed Jean was an intruder.

“Right now, today, I don’t know what happened that evening. Congressman O’Rourke doesn’t know what happened that evening, but he immediately called for firing the officer,” Cruz said. “I think that’s a mistake.

“We have a criminal justice system … that will determine what happened that night,” he said. “If she violated the law … she will face the consequences … But without knowing the facts, Congressman O’Rourke is ready to convict her, fire her. It’s a troubling pattern.”

Cruz went on to claim that O’Rourke suggested that police officers embody “modern-day Jim Crow” laws.

“Just today, Fort Worth is burying Officer Hull … who was shot in the head,” Cruz said.

Hull died Sept. 14 after being shot while pursuing robbery suspects.

O’Rourke said he, Cruz, and everyone gathered for the debate “mourn the passing of Officer Hull in Fort Worth.”

But he said that Cruz’s claim that he likened officers to modern day Jim Crows “is simply untrue.”

He said his uncle, who was a sheriff’s deputy in El Paso, taught him what it means to serve.

“With the tragic shooting death of Botham Jean, you have another black man killed in this country by law enforcement,” O’Rourke said. “No law enforcement wants that to happen. No member of this community wants that to happen.

“We have to find something better than what we’ve been doing so far,” he said. “Republicans and Democrats should be able to work together … for real, lasting, meaningful criminal reform.”

When asked whether police violence is a problem, Cruz went on to say that O’Rourke is making claims against police officers that aren’t true.

O’Rourke took offense at that, responding that “this is why people don’t like Washington, D.C.”

“You just said something I didn’t say,” O’Rourke said. “This is your trick … to confuse, incite based on fear and to not speak the truth.

“This is a very serious issue.”

Friday night was the first debate for Cruz and O’Rourke.

There are two other debates — Sept. 30 at the University of Houston and Oct. 16 in San Antonio.


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  1. Cuz is a piece of shit. Wait till he have to bury his child because police so call made a mistake nonsense. Amerikkk justice is all for white's system✊???


  2. The Officer was not on duty, therefore, the usual excuses i.e. in the line of duty, does not apply. This was one citizen killing another for no apparent logical reason, if her story is to be believed. I mean how tired, or high would you have to be to mistake your apartment for someone else's? If there was dialogue why wouldn't the tenant immediately identify the apartment as his own? Why would the front door be left ajar unless the tenant was expecting a visitor? Was she expected, was this a relationship that ended badly for him? Does the Officer have prior acts of misconduct on her record? Why is it that when an Officer breaks the law the immediate defense is to mention other Officers' who have fallen in the line-of-duty; how is that relevant for this case - she was not on duty, she was not investigating the address, and she didn't have a warrant for this address, or for the tenant how is the fact that she is an Officer relevant?


  3. Crimiminal justice system that has put innocent people in jail so after they found drugs does that mean its officer drugs i mean after all she thought she was in her home.


  4. All we need to do is kill 20 whites everytime...1 black dies and trust me the issues will get fixed ASAP! Cuz only white lives matter..


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