Noe Garza, the brother-in-law of Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, denied using white power symbols in a photo that spread wildly throughout social media. Guyger stands accused of manslaughter in the death of Botham Shem Jean, a well-liked man from Saint Lucia, who was shot by the officer in his own apartment.
She’s said that she mistakenly thought she was in her own apartment, according to the arrest affidavit in the case, which has sparked anger against Guyger on social media and in other circles.
You can see the photo above and below:
After the photo spread on social media, some users claimed that the hand signals resembled those used by the Aryan Brotherhood or a white prison gang named Woods (or a peckerwood symbol). However, Noe Garza spoke to the Dallas Morning News and denied that he is a racist. He said he was not using white power or gang hand signals but rather was making innocuous references to ages and letters unrelated to race. He also denied that any members of Guyger’s family have white supremacist ties.
“My last name is Garza. I’m a Mexican,” he said to reporter Jennifer Emily of the Dallas newspaper. “I don’t care about your nationality. I don’t care about the color of your skin. We all bleed red.” He flatly denied being racist.
The newspaper reported that a spokesman for the Anti-Defamation League said, after looking at the hand signals, that he did not “think there is any white supremacist intention here.” Another photo causing controversy shows Guyger’s mother wearing an All Lives Matter shirt, which Dallas Morning News reports that she was given after multiple Dallas police officers were slain in an ambush.
Guyger Is Accused of Telling Police She Thought Botham Shem Jean Was a Burglar in His Own Apartment
Guyger was arrested by the Texas Rangers in Kaufman County, Texas on the evening of September 9, 2018, and is being accused of manslaughter, jail records show.
She was being held on $300,000 bail, but she was able to post that amount and was being released.
According to the affidavit, Botham Jean’s apartment number was 1478 and Guyger lived one floor below him in apartment 1378. The apartments are “in most ways identical or extremely similar to the exterior surroundings, structure, and description of each other,” the document says.
The affidavit says that Jean was home alone when a uniformed Guyger, who had just ended her shift, arrived at the complex and parked on its fourth floor, which corresponds to the floor Jean lived on, not Guyger. Guyger “entered the building and walked down the fourth floor hallway to what she thought was her apartment,” the affidavit says. “She inserted a unique door key, with an electronic chip, into the door key hole.”
However, the door, “which was slightly ajar prior to Guyger’s arrival, fully opened under the force of the key insertion,” the document contends.
After the door opened, “Guyger observed that the apartment interior was nearly completely dark. Additionally, the door being opened alerted Complainant Jean to Guyger’s presence. Believing she had encountered a burglar, which was described as a large silhouette, across the room in her apartment, Guyger drew her firearm, gave verbal commands that were ignored by Complainant Jean,” the affidavit alleges.
As a result, “Guyger fired her handgun two times striking the Complainant one time in the torso,” according to the affidavit, which says that Guyger entered the apartment, calling 911 and requesting police and EMS and provided first aid to Jean. She turned on the interior lights while on the phone with 911. Upon being asked where she was located by emergency dispatchers, she returned to the front door to observe the address and discovered she was at the wrong apartment,” the document alleges.
Guyger then called 911 from her cell phone requesting an ambulance and police to the location. Jean was transported to Baylor Hospital, where he died. Guyger remained at the scene and told the responding officers and 911 operator that she thought she was at her apartment when she shot Jean, according to the affidavit. Guyger “believed she was in her apartment and confronted by a burglar when she fired her handgun, striking and killing him,” the document says.
The news of Guyger’s arrest broke on the evening of September 9, 2018 after two days of confusion about whether Guyger, 30, would face charges in the bizarre shooting death of Botham Shem Jean, a Saint Lucian man who moved to America to attend a Christian college and later got a job in risk assessment for a prominent company in Dallas.