Amber Guyger, the former Dallas police officer who murdered Botham Jean in cold blood, was sentenced to 10 years in prison, prompting many observers to say she got off lightly considering the impact of her crime. In court, Jean’s brother made an emotional statement in front of Guyger and granted her forgiveness, which has Twitter reacting with anger and disgust.
As reported by the Dallas Morning News, Brandt Jean took an unusual path in addressing Guyger, offering instead to forgive her instead of wishing vengeance for his brother’s death. During the statement, Jean’s brother, acting on his own, said to Guyger that he didn’t intend to even say anything but felt compelled to speak from a place inspired by his Christian faith and that his brother would want her to give her life to Jesus Christ.
Jean stepped down from the podium to embrace Guyger, with the judge in the case also doing the same and handing the former officer a bible verse with instructions to study. Immediately on Twitter, observers angrily reacted to Jean’s gracious act, calling it a terrible response to what many felt was a light sentence.
We’ve captured some of those reactions to the emotionally-stirring exchange below.
Photo: Mesquite Jail
What are the chances Botham Jean would have received 10 yrs for murdering Amber Guyger after entering her apt illegally? What are the chances some of her family would hug him as his family hugged her? Blk ppl are always expected to be compassionate but rarely receive compassion— shannon sharpe (@ShannonSharpe) October 2, 2019
After Brandt Jean tells Amber Guyger “I forgive you. Go to God... I don’t even want you to go to jail because that’s what Botham would want.” Judge Tammy Kemp then hugs Guyger.— Cassandra Jaramillo 🌟 (@cassandrajar) October 2, 2019
Almost everyone was crying in that courtroom. pic.twitter.com/7LtXuod7YR
I think some things are being conflated. Botham Jean’s brother has every right to hug, forgive, and grieve in any way he sees fit.— Clint Smith (@ClintSmithIII) October 3, 2019
But his personal decision to extend forgiveness does not absolve this woman of what she’s done.
Forgiveness & absolution are two different things.
“Do you think the same white people applauding Botham Jean's brother for hugging and forgiving Amber Guyger would have wanted to hug and forgive Osama Bin Laden were he captured after 9/11?”— Etan Thomas (@etanthomas36) October 3, 2019
~ Marc Anthony pic.twitter.com/noLlsRkJeH
Just a word for the white people-— Elizabeth “I’ll Show Ya Mercy” (@EB_FindingMercy) October 3, 2019
If you didn’t share about Botham Jeans murder and weren’t willing to say #BlackLivesMatter, save us in tweeting out the hug. It’s...telling.
All I know is if you’re going to share those clips of Amber Guyger getting hugs you damn well better have the same energy for that clip of Botham Jean’s mother calling out police corruption.— Rebecca Theodore-Vachon (@FilmFatale_NYC) October 3, 2019
How Botham Jean’s brother chooses to grieve is his business. He’s entitled to that. But this judge choosing to hug this woman is unacceptable. Keep in mind this convicted murderer is the same one who laughed about Martin Luther King Jr’s assassination, and killing ppl on sight. https://t.co/Nu5QGOIR1K— Jemele Hill (@jemelehill) October 2, 2019
So what? Botham’s mother deserves all the hugs. doing that first doesn’t change the inappropriateness and unprofessionalism of hugging the convicted murderer. https://t.co/TX0C2QPoOV— Young Daddy (@Toure) October 3, 2019
The Amber Guyger case is interesting.— Mr Jonetsu (@MOlasope) October 2, 2019
The brother of Botham Jean being able to forgive and hug her is a picture of the Gospel, whether you like it or not.
However justice must still be served and she shouldn't be mollycoddled for murder.
Both of these points can co-exist.
Black officer was fixing her hair, Botham Jean brother gave her a forgiveness hug, and the Judge gave her a I wish it was a lighter sentence hug. I have never seen a Judge, Victim family member, or a Police officer do these things when it's a Black person getting sentence. pic.twitter.com/na6o6Ih05B— AMAZEMODICA (@AmazeModica) October 2, 2019
Would Botham be only sentenced to 10 years and getting hugs for killing Amber in self defense?! pic.twitter.com/7eLeSxKThc— Sam 🇭🇹 (@sakpasesam) October 2, 2019
Botham Jean’s brother is a bitch. That bitch killed your brother in cold blood and you runnin across the room to hug her? Man yall people sure did a number on us. Damn shame— Bay Electronica 🏁 (@MoeGreen110) October 3, 2019