The Dallas police department will soon conduct an internal investigation into police behavior exposed in the trial of former officer Amber Guyger, who was sentenced Wednesday to 10 years in prison for the murder of Botham Jean.
“I can only imagine the community’s perception of who we are as a Dallas police department and, if we’re truly honest with one another, what law enforcement is or who law enforcement is across this country,” Chief U. Reneé Hall said in a press conference shortly after the sentencing, adding that an internal investigation is in the works, according to The Texas Tribune.
Evidence presented at the trial included texts from Guyger joking about the assassination of Martin Luther King Jr. and discriminatory comments about black officers.
Hall said the evidence was not “reflective of the men and women of the Dallas Police Department” but said the internal affairs division would investigate the testimony and make any necessary recommendations on structural changes.
Guyger was found guilty in the fatal shooting of Jean, a black man whose home she entered last year.
Although a moment went viral after the sentencing in which Jean’s brother Brandt told Guyger he forgave her and asked the judge for permission to hug her, Jean’s mother Allison said the killing of her son showed the need for reforms.
“The city of Dallas needs to clean up inside. The Dallas Police Department has a lot of laundry to do,” she said shortly after Guyger was sentenced. “Every single one of you citizens of Dallas and residents of Dallas need to know what to do to get your city right.”
“The energy in Dallas is more volatile now than when the case started, because you gave people a bit of hope, then you took it away,” said Changa Higgins, head of the Dallas Community Police Oversight Coalition, referencing the relatively short sentence for a crime that carries a maximum of 99 years.