Dallas Police Chief U. Renee Hall claims she is unable to terminate the Dallas officer who shot and killed Jean Botham in his own apartment.
Botham, a 26-year-old accountant, was shot dead on Sept. 7 by Guyger who claimed she mistakenly believed he was an intruder inside her own apartment, which is located one floor below Jean's.
Chief Hall responded to growing calls from outraged Dallas residents to fire Guyger and charge her with murder.
Guyger, 30, was arrested and charged with one count of involuntary manslaughter, punishable by 10 to 15 months in prison.
“There is one overriding reason that I have not taken any administrative or employment action against Officer Amber Guyger," said Chief Hall in a statement Thursday evening. "I don’t want to interfere with an ongoing criminal investigation," she said.
"As an employer, DPD can compel Officer Guyger to provide a statement during a DPD administrative investigation and those statements given to DPD could potentially compromise the criminal investigation.”
Hall said she would proceed with disciplinary action against Guyger "as soon as we are assured that conducting an administrative investigation will not impede on the criminal investigation, we will proceed.”
At a tense town hall meeting earlier this week, Hall said “there are both local, state and federal laws that prohibit me from taking action” -- but according to WFFA, there is precedence to fire officer Guyger.
Two Dallas officers who shot and killed citizens were fired during criminal and internal affairs investigations.
Jean's family and activists say they will keep the pressure on Chief Hall until she fires Guyger and escalates her charge to murder.
“Twenty-six years without a blemish and it took being murdered by a white Dallas Police officer in his own home to make Botham Shem Jean a criminal,” said the family's attorney, Lee Merritt, in a statement after the shooting.
Merritt accused Dallas police of trying to “assassinate his character” by releasing a search warrant that listed marijuana and a weed grinder among items found in Botham's apartment.
Most of the items on the list, if not all, belonged to Officer Guyger. She remains on paid administrative leave.