Amber Guyger will remain a Dallas police officer on paid administrative leave for the foreseeable future, even though she faces a manslaughter charge and is out of jail on bond.
That has further frustrated protesters who've carried signs and yelled chants of ‘Fire Guyger’ at rallies the past two weeks.
“To decide that you're going to keep this young lady employed who is a civil servant, she’s supposed to be serving us and were saying we don't want her and you’re telling us were stuck with her. That, I believe, is going to cause an issue between the community and this chief,” said Jasmine Crockett, defense attorney.
In a Thursday statement, Hall wrote in part: "I don’t want to interfere with the on-going criminal investigation ... As an employer, DPD can compel Officer Guyger to provide a statement during a DPD administrative investigation and those statements ... could potentially compromise the criminal investigation."
The chief was referring to what’s called a Garrity warning, which protects public employees like Guyger from being compelled to give a statement in an internal administrative investigation that could somehow be used against them criminally.
Attorneys Miles Brisette and former Tarrant County Judge Bob Gill should know. They represented former Balch Springs Officer Roy Oliver, who was recently sentenced to 15 years in prison for the murder of teen Jordan Edwards. The two had a running objection through the trial that Oliver's statement to internal affairs that was supposed to be protected under the Garrity warning was not.
“It goes further than that and says that it can’t be used or they can’t make any derivative use of it. That is, any information they gain from it, any thought processes, anything that aids them in their prosecution of her would be barred by the fact that she received her earlier Garrity warning,” said Bob Gill.
That calls into question whether a delay in the administrative investigation is really warranted. But hall believes the criminal case is so sensitive that she does not want it determined on a "technicality rather than facts.”
“It is tough and I can see where the community wants answers right away, but at the same time the community would be upset at the end if things were rushed,” Miles Brisette said.