The 18-year-old brother of murder victim Botham Jean made national news when he told killer cop Amber Guyger from the stand that he loved her as a person. Brandt Jean then asked Judge Tammy Kemp for permission to hug his brother’s killer and the judge said yes.
Though many found the end of the Guyger trial controversial — the judge’s behavior included — a law enforcement organization is honoring Brandt Jean.
ILEA Director Gregory Smith told the news outlet why 50 law enforcement officers would attend the ceremony in Plano, Texas:
What he did was to step out with compassion and forgive the woman who was responsible for the death of his brother. That is an act of forgiveness that transcends law-enforcement around the globe. That was an act of humanity that showed the best in us.
Jean’s words, which you can watch in the player above, caused quite a stir. At one point, he said he didn’t even want Guyger to go to jail. Jean said that it would be best if she gave her life to Christ instead. He also said that’s what his brother would have wanted.
But Guyger is the former Dallas cop convicted of murdering 26-year-old Botham Jean in his apartment — thinking, she said, that it was her own apartment and that Jean was an intruder. Guyger is serving out a 10-year prison sentence. Prosecutors had asked for 28 years.
One member of the jury said that the defendant showed remorse, while another said he thought that Jean wouldn’t have wanted “harsh vengeance.”
Alberto Luperon contributed to this report.
[Image via ABC News screengrab]