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A black mother was shot and killed by police in her house. We need real justice

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Last week, a judge sentenced former Dallas Police Officer Amber Guyger to 10 years in prison for entering the wrong apartment in her building and killing Botham Jean, her neighbor. Lee Merritt, the Jean family attorney, boasted: “This is a victory for black people in America. It is a signal that the tide is going to change here. Police officers are going to be held accountable for their actions, and we believe that will begin to change policing culture all over the world.”

But it would not. Guyger’s conviction didn’t even change police culture near Dallas. Before the ink could dry on the sentencing papers, a Fort Worth police officer entered into Atatiana Jefferson’s home. He shot and killed her within seconds. She was playing video games with her nephew. A neighbor called a non-emergency number for a wellness check because Atatiana’s door was open late at night. In 2013, Fort Worth police also killed a man in his own garage during a wellness check. The officers were not prosecuted.

Merritt and some activists have issued calls for “more justice.” I understand this impulse. After a police killing, prison is something, and that something can feel like justice when the other option seems like nothing. People understandably want police officers to be punished for killing black people. They also hope that prison will send a warning message to........

© The Guardian