Amber Guyger, a former Texas police officer, was sentenced this past week to 10 years in prison for killing Botham Jean, an unarmed black man. Jean was sitting in his own apartment, eating ice cream and relaxing after a long day when the shooting occurred. Guyger approached the victim’s apartment, thinking it was her own. Startled to see a stranger in what she thought was her own apartment, she shot Botham and he died shortly after. In court, Botham’s 18-year-old brother Brandt decided to forgive Guyger in an emotional moment. However, some think he shouldn’t have been so quick to do, according to NPR.
Brandt was visibly emotional during his victim impact statement. He talked about his brother and the hole his loss left in his life. He then spoke directly to Guyger, telling her he didn’t really even want her to go to jail. After all, it would not bring his brother back. He then told her that if she was really sorry for what she did, he would forgive her. In a particularly emotional moment, he turned to the judge and asked if it would be possible to give Guyger a hug and the judge allowed it.
The two shared a tight embrace during which even the judge presiding over the case, Tammy Kemp, was seen wiping away tears. Brandt was praised widely online and in the media for his courageous act of forgiveness even in the midst of all the pain he was experiencing.
“I’m proud of you my son, Brandt. Your load is lighter. Regardless of the views of the spectators, walk with God always. Forgiveness is for the forgiver and it doesn’t matter what the forgiven does with it,” Brandt’s mother, Allison Jean, said of her son’s actions.
Judge Kemp also embraced Guyger after sentencing and handed her a Bible.
Former NAACP President Cornell Brooks tweeted out in criticism of the young man’s actions and that of Judge Kemp.
“I have preached #forgiveness for 25 years, BUT using the willingness of Black people to forgive as an excuse to further victimize Black people is SINFUL. America should ask Black people forgiveness for serially asking African Americans to forgive sanctioned #PoliceBrutality.”
As The Inquisitr previously reported, the Jean family is strong in their faith. Brandt spoke of his faith during his victim impact statement, encouraging Guyger to offer her life to God and to seek forgiveness from him.