Dallas police chief says she can’t yet fire Amber Guyger

Flowers are placed at the front door of Botham Jean's apartment on Monday, Sept. 10, 2018 in Dallas. Jean was shot Thursday by off-duty Dallas police officer Amber Guyger, who says she mistook his apartment for hers. (Shaban Athuman /The Dallas Morning News via AP)

Nearly two weeks after Amber Guyger fatally shot Botham Jean, claiming she mistook his apartment for her own, Dallas police aren’t ready to discuss whether she will keep her job as an officer.

And if Police Chief U. Renee Hall follows the department’s standard practices, it could be months before a decision about Guyger’s employment is made.

Although she was placed on leave immediately and turned herself in Sept. 9 to face a manslaughter charge, a ruling on whether to fire her will be on hold until the criminal investigation is complete, police Chief of Staff Thomas Taylor said last week.

Since the shooting at the South Side Flats in the Cedars, calls for swift action against the 30-year-old officer have been strong and widespread.

At a town hall meeting Tuesday, audience members pressed the chief: Why hasn’t Guyger been fired?

“I can’t do that because there are both local, state and federal laws that prohibit me from taking action,” Hall said, according to WFAA-TV (Channel 8).

She didn’t specify the laws she was referring to, Channel 8 reported.

While it’s typical for Dallas police to wait for a criminal indictment of an officer before firing them, Hall has the power to bypass normal disciplinary procedures to make an immediate employment decision.

The department’s general orders, which lay out the policies under which Dallas police operate, say Hall can circumvent normal procedures if she “deems it necessary to preserve the integrity of the department.”

Read more at www.DallasNews.com.