Botham Jean’s brother, who hugged killer, given award for ethical courage
The younger brother of Botham Jean, the man shot and killed by a Dallas police officer last year, received an award Tuesday for showing compassion toward the cop during her murder trial.
Brandt Jean, 18, received an award for ethical courage from the Institute for Law Enforcement Administration during the organization’s conference in Plano, Texas, Fox 4 reported.
Amber Guyger, a white Dallas cop, was sentenced in October to 10 years behind bars for fatally shooting Jean, a black man who was Guyger's neighbor, when she apparently mistook Jean's apartment for her own.
An emotional scene played out in the courtroom when Brandt Jean read his impact statement. He said he forgave Guyger and hoped that she would devote her life to Christ,
“I forgive you. And I know, if you go to God and ask him, he will forgive you,” he said before proceeding to hug her in the middle of the courtroom.
“It was an act of forgiveness that was unimaginable. It was beautiful. It showed courage in the sense that he was being true to his values, being true to his principals and true to his beliefs,” said ILEA Director Gregory Smith. “If a man can forgive a person who took the life of his brother, who are we not to forgive those in our lives that have wronged us?”
Smith said non-law enforcement personnel generally don’t receive the award for ethical courage, but “his act was just without words.”
“And we decided to move forward with it and we ran it through our alumni association and everyone was on board with this.”
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After receiving the award, Brandt Jean pressed the need for change in the Dallas Police Department.
“I don’t want police officers to continue doing this. As you can see it’s not healthy, especially for the black community, black males specifically,” he said. “We don’t want this to happen again. We want the training to be applied 24/7 because we citizens put our trust in those officers every day.”
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Brandt Jean was joined by his mother, father, and sister, who arrived from their home in St. Lucia. About 50 police officers were in attendance.
Fox News’ Vandana Rambaran contributed to this report.