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The Botham Jean Murder Verdict and Its Complex Emotional Aftermath | The Daily Show

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Oct 06, 2019

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The Botham Jean Murder Verdict and Its Complex Emotional Aftermath | The Daily Show
The Botham Jean Murder Verdict and Its Complex Emotional Aftermath | The Daily Show thumb The Botham Jean Murder Verdict and Its Complex Emotional Aftermath | The Daily Show thumb The Botham Jean Murder Verdict and Its Complex Emotional Aftermath | The Daily Show thumb

Transcription

  • If you've been keeping up with the news,
  • you've probably seen this story coming out of, uh, Texas
  • that's-that's blown up.
  • Um, and it's been taking place for a while.
  • It's been the-the trial of the police officer, Amber Guyger.
  • Have you saw that? Right?
  • The police officer who, um, said
  • she-she accidentally walked into a man's apartment
  • in her building and then she thought
  • that he was the intruder
  • and she shot him dead.
  • And I remember when this story happened.
  • It was a wild story off the bat.
  • It was-- You know what I mean? 'Cause it was already crazy.
  • It's like you walk into a wrong apartment
  • and you shot the person. What were you doing?
  • What-- You know?
  • And so the trial has been going on.
  • And the first thing that was-- that was a little weird for me
  • was the judge allowed the defense to use
  • what they call the castle doctrine in America.
  • So they said they would allow the defense
  • that she was protecting herself
  • because she thought it was her house,
  • which already was, like, weird for me.
  • 'Cause I-- Like, the castle doctrine
  • is-is, like, a very strict law in America,
  • but-but, I-I mean, I get it, fundamentally.
  • If you're in your house, you can do
  • whatever you need to protect yourself.
  • But this was interesting, where the judge was like,
  • "No, you can... We allowed the defense
  • "that you thought you were in your house,
  • so you shot somebody in their house."
  • In their house? I was just like, "But that's...
  • But it's not your house."
  • 'Cause then you can just think you're in your house anywhere.
  • -(laughter) -Like, it's just... It's...
  • So really, that was weird. And, you know, I was worried.
  • I honestly was worried, this was gonna be another one
  • of those cases in America where justice didn't get served.
  • Because it seemed like a fairly, you know, black and white--
  • excuse the pun-- case.
  • Um, and-and then, the verdict was handed down,
  • and the jury did find her guilty.
  • But what has followed since has been a really interesting story.
  • And we actually... we actually have a clip.
  • It's-it's... it's a really complicated story,
  • but this is... this is basically what went down.
  • The white former Dallas police officer convicted
  • of murdering her black neighbor has learned her fate.
  • Yesterday, Amber Guyger was sentenced
  • to ten years in prison
  • for the murder of Botham Jean.
  • But it was what Jean's brother did after the sentencing
  • that brought the court to a standstill.
  • Can I give her a hug, please?
  • WOMAN: 18-year-old Brandt Jean
  • forgave Amber Guyger
  • who'd just been sentenced to ten years in prison
  • for killing his older brother Botham.
  • At the end of the hearing,
  • Judge Tammy Kemp gave a bible to Guyger
  • and embraced her, as well.
  • Amber Guyger will be eligible for parole
  • in five years.
  • No justice, no peace!
  • WOMAN: Some outside the courtroom
  • thought the sentence was too lenient.
  • So that's basically...
  • the-the story as it stands.
  • And it's interesting, 'cause I...
  • Like, I sat with this... with this story,
  • and I talked to my friends about it.
  • And it's so funny how many...
  • you know, like, how many complicated feelings
  • there are in and around it.
  • First and foremost, a thousand kudos and just, like...
  • Honestly, I-I admire the compassion
  • of the Jean family.
  • At the same time, though,
  • I understood why so many people were angered
  • by that moment, 'cause this thing has really,
  • you know, blown up online.
  • People saying, like, they were angry
  • that she was getting hugs from the judge,
  • and they were angry that she was getting hugs from the family.
  • And some people... Like, a lot of people are fighting
  • about this right now, 'cause they're like,
  • "Why were they hugging her? She murdered a man.
  • Why is she getting hugs?"
  • And the other side is like, "Yes, but they're forgiving her.
  • She still goes to jail, but it's about forgiveness."
  • And I just... I sat with it, and I have...
  • I have conflicting feelings, but I... but I...
  • I think I understand what is happening, you know,
  • in so many different ways
  • with-with how people are looking at the story.
  • On the one... one hand, you can't deny
  • that people feel like ten years--
  • five, actually-- is not a lot of time to be given
  • for taking another human being's life,
  • especially if you're found guilty of murder.
  • Do you know what I mean?
  • Like, there's people in jail in America
  • -for doing far lesser crimes, you know? -WOMAN: Exactly.
  • Whether they've been, you know, charged with, like,
  • drug trafficking where they just had a certain amount of drugs,
  • and they were assumed to be drug traffickers,
  • or, you know, people where they said it was violent crimes,
  • and it was assault.
  • But they're spending more time in jail.
  • And then, this seems like another case
  • of the system preferring a certain type of person
  • who looks a certain type of way,
  • who fits a certain type of narrative.
  • Ten years, five years. I get why people are angry.
  • I get why people are also like, "This is another case of, like,
  • white women tears doing their magic." You know?
  • 'Cause, like, that's... I mean, you know the myth.
  • It's, like, white women tears, just, like, anything.
  • Like, traffic stops. Anything.
  • White woman cries, and people are like,
  • -"All right, yeah, yeah, yeah." -(laughter)
  • Yeah. And-and it's... it's true.
  • Like, it's a joke, but it's also true at the same time.
  • It's, like, white women throughout history
  • have been very good at, like, stepping away
  • from, like, the thing just with their tears, you know?
  • Where it'll be, like, you'll be...
  • Everyone looks at the Klan.
  • Everyone forgets that there's, like, wives of the Klan.
  • Do you know what I mean? People are like, "Those Klan!"
  • And then, like, the wives can sometimes be like,
  • "I-I didn't know my husband was..."
  • (laughter)
  • It's like, "But you helped him put the sleet on every night."
  • (crying): "I thought he just liked Halloween. I'm sorry!"
  • (laughter)
  • And that's what a lot of people feel like in these instances.
  • They feel like-like those white tears are really felt,
  • whereas the tears of many other people,
  • people of different races,
  • people of, you know, other genders aren't felt as-as much.
  • And... and I think, you know, that, like,
  • all of it stems from the conversations
  • in and around race in America.
  • You can't... you can't avoid it.
  • People are looking at a story of a white woman
  • who shot a black man in his house,
  • who did nothing, who was just in his house.
  • And people were angry,
  • and I understand why so many people are angry,
  • because they're like, "She doesn't deserve hugs.
  • She deserves to lose her life the way she took a life."
  • And I'm not speaking for everybody.
  • I know maybe I'm speaking for myself and some of my friends.
  • But I-I feel like the anger actually comes
  • from people feeling like that is the level of empathy
  • everybody should receive in a court, you know?
  • Everybody should have a judge look at them like a human being.
  • Everybody in society should be treated
  • with a level of compassion.
  • They should still be punished if they've committed a crime,
  • but we should still look at them as human beings.
  • And yet, this narrative doesn't seem to be afforded
  • to black people in America, especially by the news.
  • 'Cause if you look at all the news stories
  • about this, they do paint it...
  • Like, they go, "It's a beautiful moment
  • where she's hugged by everyone, and so...
  • But it's, like, they don't use that same editorial
  • when a young black child is going to jail, you know?
  • They don't go, "This young black man,
  • "who was recruited into a gang and had no other choices,
  • look at this poor..." They just go, like,
  • "He was sentenced and he was found guilty,"
  • and that's the story.
  • As if that is what's expected.
  • You know what I mean?
  • It almost feels like if you're a black person
  • who commits a crime and goes to jail,
  • well, that-that's what black people do.
  • But if you're a white person who commits a crime
  • and goes to jail, it's like, "Aw, man,
  • what a disaster story."
  • They tell you about the human being behind the act.
  • This story showed you the exact opposite example.
  • This young black man
  • who was doing his own thing, he got shot.
  • They told you that he had a history with weed.
  • The news told you that. Why?
  • They always tell you that.
  • "This man was shot in a traffic stop.
  • Now, he did have an assault case ten years..."
  • What does that have to do with this traffic stop?
  • You know what I mean. What, was the cop traveling
  • through time to punishing him? What is that...?
  • And I think that's... that's what people need to understand,
  • is that, like, some of the narratives
  • that we tell and share about what's happening in the world
  • are so much more powerful than we actually think they are.
  • You think it's just on the surface, but...
  • what a lot of people are seeing here is...
  • is a reinforcing of an idea.
  • But I think the mistake we shouldn't make as people
  • is that we shouldn't necessarily jump to...
  • we want people like Amber Guyger
  • to spend more time in jail and the most time in jail.
  • I think what we should be asking
  • is for the same level of compassion and saying,
  • "Hey, I don't want anyone to spend
  • excessive amounts of time in jail."
  • And so the same way
  • a white shooter is disarmed peacefully,
  • the same way a white murderer
  • can get a hug in a courtroom and sympathy,
  • the same way a young shooter is spoken about as a human being
  • because he is white,
  • you would hope that same level of compassion and empathy
  • would be applied to black people.
  • That's all it is.

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Description

Trevor explores the complicated emotions surrounding the sentencing of Amber Guyger, an ex-police officer who entered the wrong apartment and murdered her neighbor Botham Jean.

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